wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The wines of  Cortes de Cima, Alentejo, Portugal

Cortes de Cima, 7690-999 Vidigueira, Portugal
Tel: +351 284 463119 Fax: +351 284 463292
E-mail: wine@cortesdecima.pt Website: www.cortesdecima.pt

The Alentejo has led the way in Portugal’s wine revolution. It’s a region that has enjoyed tremendous success over the last decade, producing red wines in two distinctive styles. On the one hand, there is the traditional Alentejo style, perhaps typified by José Maria da Fonseca’s José de Sousa, the Cartuxa wines from Evora, or JP Vinhos’ Tinto de Anfora. On the other hand, there is the modern, fruit-forward, almost new-world style that has been such a huge commercial success and which has propelled this region forward so fast. Cortes de Cima, owned by Hans and Carrie Jorgensen, falls firmly into the latter bracket, and has rapidly established itself as one of the leading wineries of this region.

The Alentejo is huge, with its flat plains covering almost a third of the country. Much of this area is given over to cereal production. It’s also hot, and irrigation is common. In contrast to the northern regions, with their fragmented smallholdings, production is dominated by larger, professional outfits. Cortes de Cima are following in the trail João Portugal Ramos and Esporão, who have mainly concentrated on local grape varieties but who have also been working with Syrah, the only foreign grape to so far to have made much of an inroad into the region. Cortes de Cima’s most celebrated wine, Incognito, is in fact a varietal Syrah.

The great success of the Alentejo has been in making thoroughly modern, concentrated wines that still retain a distinctly Portuguese character, and this is what Cortes de Cima have done very well. The relatively high prices reflect the strong local demand for these wines, their high intrinsic quality, and the ambitions of the producer. As an aside, Cliff Richard fans might like to know that the first vintage of his wine, Vida Nova, was made here last year.

Chaminé Rosé 2001, Alentejo
100% Tempranillo. A vivid pink colour. Bright, fresh and rich, with sweet strawberry fruit. Soft, sweet fruit on the palate. Very seductive, and holds its 14.5% alcohol quite well. Very good

Chaminé 2000, Alentejo
Striking sweet herby nose with caramel notes and a medicinal edge. Quite rich and full on the palate with attractive savoury herbal character and good acidity. Shows some regional character. Very good+ (£6.99 Oddbins, Adnams, James Nicholson)

Courela 2001, Alentejo
Declassified Chaminé. This is a good glugger, displaying attractive herby cherry fruit with a spicy twist. Otherwise it is quite light and simple. Good/very good (£5.50 Adnams)

Cortes de Cima 1999, Alentejo
Very rich sweet nose with a nice caramel and herbal character. Good balance on the palate between the concentrated sweet fruit and  the savoury herbal flavours and relatively high acidity. Impressive density. Very good/excellent (£9.99 Oddbins, Adnams, James Nicholson)

Incógnito 2000 Alentejo
This is a varietal Syrah. Striking nose shows lush, rich raspberry fruit with some herbal complexity. Dense, rich textured palate with lush liquoricey raspberry fruit, some spicy oak influence and smooth tannins. Delicious stuff, this is a striking, concentrated wine. Very good/excellent (£16.99 Oddbins, Adnams, James Nicholson)

Cortes de Cima Aragonês 2000, Alentejo
Deep coloured. Rich herby, spicy nose is quite complex. Palate is dense, rich and savoury. The oak meshes well with the ripe fruit. Lots of character here. Very good/excellent (£19.95 Adnams)

Cortes de Cima Reserva 1998, Alentejo
Quite a rich caramel, liquorice and herb tinged nose with some lush fruit. Midweight palate is quite elegant with herby, spicy character. More traditional in style than the rest of the range. Very good+ (£24.95 Adnams) 

For tasting notes of other Portuguese wines click here

Back to top