Portugal seems to get no respect on the world wine stage; praise is mostly reserved for their ports. But they have been making still wines for centuries. It's just maybe they're not the best promoters. Portuguese wines are possibly in a place where Spanish wines were, say, a decade or so ago. There are plenty of fantastic values if you just know the rock to look under. Which brings us to the wine bargain of the week: Altano Vino Tinto 2008.
This is the entry level red table wine made by the port producing Symingtons, responsible for such port labels as Graham's, Warre's, Dow's and Smith Woodhouse. Which is to say they know something about grape growing, especially the Tinta Roriz (70%) and Touriga Franca (30%) grapes that go into their Altano red table wine because those varieties are also used in port production.
This particular vintage of Altano shows blueberry fruit on the nose with hints of graphite highlighted by white florals. A nice burst of blueberry and blackberry flavors hit immediately on the palate aided by clove, nutmeg and cocoa powder. It's nicely rounded on the mid palate with the berry and cocoa playing together well overall and then it glides to a surprisingly velvety (for this price) finish. Solidly structured, it shows good character and flavor concentration. Altano is good candidate for an everyday drinker, maybe even your house red wine, and very affordable.
Altano Vino Tinto 2008 ($6.99) is available at Lukas Liquor Superstore.
Previous wine bargain of the week: Tarima Monastrell 2011.