Two-Time Winemaker of the Year’s Must-Case-Buy
Portugal’s reputation for over-delivering on quality is built on wines like the 91-point 2015 Luis Duarte Rapariga da Quinta Colheita Seleccionada Alentejano. Luis Duarte is one of the country’s most decorated winemakers, having placed two wines in the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 — including one at #2 — and earning Portugal Winemaker of the Year twice from Revista de Vinhos, the country’s most prestigious wine publication. Grown in the sun-drenched inland region of Alentejo in southern Portugal, the Rapariga boasts New World ripeness along with Old World rusticity and a perfumed, smoky character. This blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon, smoothed by 12 months in French oak barrels, is ripe, structured, and perfect for a delicious everyday-drinking red. This will be a great wine to watch develop over the next year or two. At $16.99 per bottle, buy a case and open with friends, and without hesitation. Only 56 cases in the U.S., available exclusively through Wine Access — while they last.
Alentejo, about an hour and a half southeast of Lisbon, has always had a strong connection to the wine industry through the Quercus suber — the cork trees that thrive in the arid region’s heat. But recently, Alentejo’s ripe red wines have raised their profile, going beyond the restaurants and cafes of Lisbon to gain international attention. One of the winemakers most responsible for elevating the Alentejo name and carrying it beyond the Iberian Peninsula is two-time Portuguese Winemaker of the Year Luis Duarte.
Duarte’s Rapariga and Rubrica labels, which he founded in 2007, made an instant international splash, placing at #11 and #2 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100. A guardian of tradition who is unafraid to go against the grain, Duarte has a penchant for oak-aged blends of traditional Portuguese and international grape varieties. The 2015 Luis Duarte Rapariga da Quinta Colheita Seleccionada Alentejano exemplifies that style: fleshy, smoky, and smooth with a fine tannin structure. This under-$20 gem with a 91-point score from Wine & Spirits magazine drinks just like a $30 bottle, and is exactly what we love in a case-buy. Secure yours now.
Adam Lapierre MW
Master of Wine