The wines of Herdade São Miguel, Alentejo
A new Portuguese star from the Redondo subregion of the Alentejo


I tasted through this range of wines with Alexandre Relvas (above), who is the enologist of this, his family’s wine company.

It’s in the subregion of Redondo (east of Evora in the middle of the Alentejo), where the soils are clay/schist. The vineyards of Herdade São Miguel cover 35 hectares (the property was purchased in 1997 by Alexandre’s father, also called Alexandre, and covers 175 hectares). There’s also a second family vineyard of 65 hectares. In addition, some grapes are also bought in from Borba. Production is 1 million bottles annually, ranging from inexpensive entry-level to high-end.

‘Up to €5 ex-cellar we intend to have modern wines,’ says Relvas. ‘With the more expensive wines we try to make things that we really like.’

The vineyards were planted from 2001, and the first vintage of Herdade São Miguel was 2009.


Herdade São Miguel Branco Colheita Seleccionada 2009 Alentejo
Fresh, fruity, citrussy and pith with lovely bright fruit. Nicely judged. 87/100

Ciconia Rosé 2009
A blend of Touriga Nacional, Syrah and Aragones. Rich, fruity and soft in an off-dry style with nice rounded cherry and strawberry fruit. Attractive and jellyfish. 88/100

Ciconia Tinto 2009
This was the first Alentejo wine under screwcap (a saranex liner is used). Sweet, open, berryish nose leads to a sweet, full palate showing approachable berryish fruit. Very attractive. 86/100

Atlantico Tinto 2008
A blend of Alicante, Trincadeira and Aragones. Sweet open cherry and herb nose is quite seductive. The palate shows nice freshness with sweet cherry, herb and berry notes. Nice savoury twist on the finish. 87/100 (£5.99 Averys)

Montinho de São Miguel 2008
This is a similar blend to Ciconia, but the Ciconia has some American oak and more residual sugar. Lovely bright, berryish fruit with some nice savoury notes. Nicely balanced. 86/100

Herdade de São Miguel Aragonês 2008
Sweet, bold, focused red berry fruits with some creamy softness from the oak. Vanilla and fudge richness behind the berry fruit. Seductive and still quite primary. 87/100

Herdade de São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada 2009
Sweet, pure, lush dark cherry and berry fruit nose. The palate is sweetly fruited and well defined. Very sweet, juicy berry fruits. Seductive but still fresh. 88/100

Herdade de São Miguel Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Rich, quite dense and ripe with some spicy, tarry oak supporting the lush dark fruits. The palate has some furm, mouth-drying tannins. A really powerful Cabernet with real potential. 90/100

Herdade de São Miguel Touriga Nacional 2008
Relvas says that he prefers Touriga Franca to Nacional. Sweetly fruited and dense with a nice leafy edge to the fresh, structured plum and raspberry fruit. There’s a nice aromatic, peppery, floral character here. Tannic finish. A keeper. 91/100

São Miguel dos Decobridores Reserva 2008
Touriga Franca and Alicante Bouschet. Stylish and quite elegant with dense but fresh berry and black fruits under the fine-grained but dense tannins, with some spicy, earthy notes under the fruit. Very stylish. 91/100

Herdade de São Miguel Reserva 2007
A blend including Alicante, Cabernet and Aragones. Dense, rich and intense but beautifully balanced with very classy oak and fine-grained tannic structure. Pure with lovely balance. Fantastic. 93/100

Herdade de São Miguel Private Collection 2006
A selection of five barrels. Sweet nose with notes of herbs, spice and tar. The palate is dense, mineralic and spicy with real presence. Lively spicy notes and firm tannins, with real interest. A distinctive wine. 93/100

See also:

Visiting Portugal's Alentejo region

Wines tasted 05/10  
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