The local grape variety here is called Baga and here it produces a flavoursome, savoury red with notes of hedgerow fruit, a gentle nip of tannin and balancing acidity. This is a long way from the Portuguese earthiness of old and pretty good value.
Caves Alianca are one of Portugal's largest and most progressive producers with 600 hectares spread across estates in five regions from Douro in the north to Alentejo in the south. Winemaker Francisco Antunes oversees what must be one of the most diverse ranges in Europe, from the 3rd largest Portuguese rose brand (Casal Mendes) to some of the country's most impressive premium reds from estates in Douro, Dao, Bairrada and Alentejo. Arguably, Francisco's greatest achievements lie between these extremes, a range of mid-priced wines from native varieties, full of character, quite distinctly Portuguese, but at the same time approachable and with fresh, modern fruit.
Vegan & Vegetarian