Cortes de Cima Alentejo
Cortes de Cima, for ripe, modern-styled reds, is located in Vidigueira, the southern most of the Alentejo’s subzones, and the wines are made by the owner, Dane Hans Kristian Jørgensen. There are now 130 ha of vineyards many which have been converted to the Smart Dyson training system, thanks to input from viticultural expert Richard Smart. Since 1997 the wines have been consistently good; fruit-driven with excellent varietal expression, particularly from the Portuguese grapes. The ripe, fleshy Cortes de Cima varies in composition but always includes Syrah, Aragonês and Trincadeira. A dark, dense Reserva (Syrah and Aragonês in 01 but additionally with Trincadeira in 03) marries new oak to a splendidly complex fruit character and is usually the top wine. A powerful varietal Syrah, Incógnito, is deep and concentrated and adequately balanced despite being high in alcohol. It has lots of character but is at the very ripe end of the spectrum and misses the finesse of a top Rhône example. A signature grape, Cortes de Cima now make an estate single varietal Syrah and Hans Christina Andersen Syrah, which is midway between the two. An enticingly aromatic Touriga Nacional shows super fruit. Varietal Aragonês (labelled Aragonez) is usually impressive too but then there are no poor wines here. The more forward, soft, fruity Chaminé is good value, while Courela is the basic red. From 2003 the first white, Clara (100% Antão Vaz) shows good fruit and has now been joined by Chamine white, which is sound if unexciting. A barrel sample of Petit Verdot looked promising – the variety seems well suited to the region. Extra Virgin olive oil is now being made here too.
To find out more about Cortes de Cima and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Portugal..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.