Have you ever had a chewy wine? Chewy is a real wine term. It’s a common way of describing a BIG, BURLY almost solid feeling wine. Usually it’s a full body, high tannic, high in alcohol, red wine. It describes mouth feel. For most, it’s a pleasant flavor found in robust red wines.
The occasion where the term came up I was enjoying a great bottle of a red Portuguese wine, and my buddy says, “I love this wine, it’s chewy”! I was busting with pride. I was also surprised as hell that my friend would use such a technical and eloquent wine term. Wow, we’ve come a long way since our nights with Yellow Tail.
The wine was Vila Santa Reserva 2013, Vinho Regional Alentejano, from Portugal. I’ve spoken many times about the fantastic, affordable wines coming from Portugal and here is just another example.
The name Vila Santa means “Holy Village”, which refers to the nearby city of Estermoz. And as with most wines there’s a great story that goes with this one. It’s called the “Miracle of the Roses”. In the 13th Century Estremoz was ruled by King Diniz and his wife Queen Isabel. Isabel was dedicated to helping the poor, an activity the King was not keen about. One day the Queen was leaving the castle with her apron full of bread when she was surprised by the King who demanded to see what she was hiding in her apron. When she opened her apron the bread had been miraculously transformed into roses. The King never again question Isabel and she continued her work free from his suspicion. She also reportedly prevented a civil war in 1323 and was canonized in 1625.
The wine is an expertly assembled red blend. Consisting of 25% Aragonez, 25% Alicante Bouschet, 20% Touriga Nacional, 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the things I really like about Portuguese wines is they use their domestic varietals. I also think they currently hold the commanding edge in the cost quality ratio in wine.
Part of the harvest is foot trodden in marble troughs called “lagares”, the rest is fermented in stainless steel tanks. After a long post fermentation the blend is aged for nine months is French oak.
Color; bright garnet. Nose: Ripe black fruits. The flavor is big and bold with a spiciness from the French oak which really adds to the uniqueness of this wine. Oh, yeah, it’s chewy!