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  1. ROCIM ‘Mariana’ Tinto, Alentejo 2019
    ROCIM ‘Mariana’ Tinto, Alentejo 2019
    Herdade do Rocim is an estate located between the towns of Vidigueira and Cuba, in the Lower Alentejo, inland from the Setúbal Peninsula. ROCIM is the project of a couple (in life as well as work), Catarina Vieira and Pedro Ribeiro. They have a 120 hectare estate with 70 hectares of vineyards and another 10 of olive trees. Catarina is the owner and founder of the estate, and started the project with her father, Jose Ribeiro Vieira, in 2000. Pedro worked in Port production in the Douro after graduating as a winemaker, and then worked in Australia for two years at Hardy's Tintara. After returning from Australia, he joined Catarina at Herdade de Rocim.

    Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira are manually harvested in
    12kg crates. At the winery, grapes are sorted, fully destemmed and gently crushed. After a
    period of cold maceration, fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks at 24°C,
    and the wines ages 6 months in French oak. 14% abv. Total acidity 5.6. PH 3.65.

    Deep ruby colour. Mace spice relieves the vanilla and black cherry density you expect here.
    Fluid, with good presence, but balanced without any sense of heftiness. Soft, dry, shapely,
    with nice structure, fresh, clean and great value. PWS
    2019
    Blend
    Portugal
    384
  2. Casa da Passarella a Descoberta Dao Tinto 2017
    Casa da Passarella a Descoberta Dao Tinto 2017
    Made in stone lagars and aged in cement tanks along with some large old wooden vats, it's a very typical DÂ o blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (elsewhere, Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro and Jaen (aka Mencia). 13.5% a/v, ta 5.96 ph 3.60. A Descoberta means 'to be discovered' and the somewhat mystical label, a box tagged 1942 is a folkloric reference to an early version of a time capsule a box hidden in the stone walls of the house of Passarella containing a will to be opened 50 years hence and directing the riches of the box be re-distributed to the poor. The box was empty. Enrichment comes from the intangible not the material, it seems.

    A lovely wine supple, fleshy and spicy, with extra delicate tannin and oak. From lead-off, the cherry-chocolate fruit really shows the Dao granite, and is laden with wiry dark herbs. In the mouth, it's fleshy-meaty and mineral fresh - round with good movement and fruit-earth interplay. It has excellent presence in the mouth but is not reliant on weight for the show. Wonderfully composed, it sits and radiates, effortless in affect. Gorgeous delicate tannin is the frame, rimming the mouth and allowing the fruit and spicy acid to radiate delicately. A wonderful advertisement for varietal blends.
    2017
    Blend
    Portugal
    384
  3. Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2019
    Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2019
    The 2019 Loureiro, tasted with about 10 weeks in bottle, is the winery's classic version—meaning "unoaked." It comes in at 11.3% alcohol, less than 1.5 grams of sugar and 7.4 of total acidity, a big change from last year's more alcoholic and lower-acid profile. This, to me, is a nicer profile for this wine in theory, but I'm not yet sure it will realize its potential. It retains its traditional lift to the fruit and a bright, lively demeanor. It might not be as concentrated as the 2018, but it has a wonderfully zesty finish with the acidity on display. MARK SQUIRES, eRobertParker.com.au
    2019
    Portugal
    384
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