Dona Maria Grande Reserva

Dona Maria Grande Reserva 2013

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Hello! Welcome to As Drunk by Exotic Wine Travel, a weekly column where we feature interesting wines that we encourage you to seek out. The reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or well-known wine regions. We hope that these wine recommendations will keep you gastronomically curious and your palate invigorated!

Dona Maria (Júlio Bastos) Grand Reserva 2013

We’re huge fans of Portuguese wines. When it comes to Portuguese reds, our preferences are toward examples from Douro, Dão, Lisboa, and Bairrada. The wines we previously tasted from Alentejo didn’t blow us away… until now.

Charine discovered this producer while we were on a Port-centered press trip in Porto, Portugal. She visited the caves of Taylor’s (Taylor, Fladgate, & Yeatman) on the second day of the trip. During lunch, Taylor’s served a selection of dry wines from other producers (since their production is dedicated only to Port). When we met again later that day, she kept going on and on about a delicious Petit Verdot she tasted from the Alentejo region.


After the trip was finished, we made a trip down to Lisbon to visit a friend. Charine kept insisting that we find a shop and hunt down more wines from Dona Maria. It didn’t take long to find a shop that had several offerings from Dona Maria – we opted for the grandaddy of the portfolio.


Dona Maria Julio Bastios Grande Reserva


The Dona Maria (Júlio Bastos) Grande Reserva 2013 is a blend of Alicante Bouchet, Petit Verdot, Touriga Nacional, and Syrah. It’s foot trodden in marble “lagares” (like vintage Port) to start fermentation and then aged one year in French oak. This is a serious red that punches above its price point.

This is a terrific red Portuguese wine that is big, smooth, and complex all at once. There are notes of black fruit, cocoa nibs, violets, stems, and mahogany. It’s full-bodied and fruity without being over the top. A slightly longer finish would push this to epic levels. That being said, it’s a beautiful wine and something to bring to your friends who insist they “only drink Cabernet.”

It looks like we need to head to Alentejo sooner rather than later.

Find or buy on Wine-Searcher.

4.4/5 (You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.)


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