Dona Maria Grande Reserva Alentejo

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2016 Vintage- The 2016 Grande Reserva is a blend of 60% Alicante Bouschet old vines (80+ years old and grown at 450 meters in altitude), 12% Syrah, 16% Petit Verdot and 12% Touriga Nacional, all aged for 12 months in 70% new French oak. It comes in at 14.8% alcohol. This is made from about two-thirds older vines (roughly equal portions of the blend at 50 years or more and at 30 years or more) and one-third younger vines (15 years). In a more difficult vintage, this has a bit more Alicante. It helps and it shows. Solid, dense and concentrated, this is a muscular Grande Reserva that also shows off its big fruit. It adds some slate and minerals to the fruit profile with a touch of black licorice, all beautifully supported by the structure. On paper, this isn't such a great vintage. In fact, the winery seems to have done a great job, exceeding expectations in a tough year. This may well improve more. Best after 2022. 94 Points Robert Parker