With Europe’s wine heavyweights France, Spain and Italy on Portugal’s doorstep, the latter’s rich and luscious reds are often overlooked.

They shouldn’t be.

If you love soft, fruit-driven wines such as shiraz and merlot, you’ll quickly fall for Portugal’s table reds – and you’ll be surprised at the genuine value on offer. European style, with a sub-$20 price tag.

Portugal has at least 250 indigenous varieties, more than any other country. Thankfully, local winemakers and growers have always resisted the idea of planting better-known grape varieties widely, preferring to show that their unique, generously flavoured wines can attract their own devotees internationally.

Three of the wines that make up The Australian Wine Club’s Portugal Showcase dozen this week hail from the country’s biggest wine region, Lisboa, which sits on the Atlantic coast just above Lisbon.

The rolling countryside of Lisboa is divided into nine subregions, where onshore breezes from the Atlantic help cool the vineyards and maintain fresh acidity in the grapes and bright, fruit-driven aromas and flavours.

The other wine in our mixed dozen offer, the Baronesa de Vilar Port Finish Reserva 2019, comes from Portugal’s best-known wine region, Douro, situated around the Douro river valley in the north.

Regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions and a World Heritage Site, Douro has a wine history stretching back to the end of the Western Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries, but it was Cistercian monks in the 12th century who put their stamp on local winemaking.

The wine most of us associate with Portugal is fortified port wines from the Douro region, which rose to prominence in the 1700s with the establishment of British-backed port lodges, producing valuable quantities of port for export.

It wasn’t really until the 1990s that a new breed of younger winemakers focused their attention on table wines, using the fragrant touriga nacional grape to create high-quality, structured reds aged in oak.


Three of the wines that make up the Portugal Showcase dozen this week hail from the country’s biggest wine region, Lisboa.


Baronesa de Vilar Port Finish Reserva 2019

Rich, dark and spicy, for lovers of medium to full-bodied reds. Created by 15th-generation winemaker Alvaro van Zeller, whose family began producing ports in 1715. This touriga nacional-based blend from the Douro region was matured in old port barrels for 12 months, giving a rich, serious, full-flavoured taste profile. You’ll find aromas of dried fruits, baking spice and black treacle, leading to a soft palate of rum and raisin, dark chocolate and sweet oak. The fresh finish speaks to the winemaker’s finesse. Blue cheese heightens the experience. Took gold at the Gilbert & Gaillard international competi­tion in 2020. 14% alc; RRP $36 a bottle.

SPECIALS $26.99 a bottle in any dozen; $16.99 a bottle in Portugal Showcase dozen.


Quinta do Espirito Santo 2020

From a decorated family-run property founded in the late 1800s near Lisbon, close to the Atlantic coast. Rich and supple, this medium-bodied offering blends native grapes tinta roriz and castelao. Subtle fig, blackberries and dried fruit aromas meld with earthy, cedar, warming spice and vanilla notes. Spiced damson plums, juicy redcurrants and blackberry flavours fill the mouth, with coffee and vanilla in the background. Beautiful drinking. Punches well about its weight for value. 15% alc; RRP $23 a bottle.

SPECIALS $15.99 a bottle in any dozen; $16.99 a bottle in Portugal Showcase dozen.


Aluado Alicante Bouschet 2022

Created from the red-fleshed alicante bouschet grape. Full of flavour but lower in alcohol. Fresh aromas of black cherries and damson plums, with a hint of spice and cured meat. Soft dark fruits flow through the palate; spice and earthy notes in the background. Black coffee on the finish. Medium to full bodied. Super drinkable. Double gold at the Gilbert & Gaillard international competition. 12.5% alc; RRP $25 a bottle.

SPECIALS $17.99 a bottle in any dozen; $16.99 a bottle in Portugal Showcase dozen.


Stones and Bones 2020

Eleven golds in seven vintages and trophy in 2020 for best Portuguese red speak to the consistency of this keenly priced gem. A blend of touriga nacional, syrah, tinta roriz and alicante. Ripe dark berries on the nose combine with toasty vanilla, smoky charcuterie, a hint of earthiness and cedar. Ripe and generous. A winner. 14% alc; RRP $24 a bottle.

SPECIALS $18.99 a bottle in any dozen; $16.99 a bottle in Portugal Showcase dozen.

PORTUGAL DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $16.99 a bottle. SAVE $120 a dozen.


Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.