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A red made by rebels and shipped by pirates

2019 Quinta do Romeu, Westerlies, Douro, Portugal

£15, xistowines.co.uk, 07980-616927.

Xisto Wines is run by Anton Mann and Lela McTernan and they import wines from Portugal under sail. Working with a new wave of young winemakers, they source sustainable, limited-release, high-quality wines bursting with character and a true sense of place. They have reconnected Bristol with its twin city of Porto, using sailing ships laden with their zero-carbon wine cargo.

I have picked two terrific red wines from their portfolio for you to enjoy – my featured suggestion for this week’s column boasts this legend on its label: “Made by Rebels, Shipped by Pirates, Drunk by Heroes!”.

My featured “Port O’Bristol” red is bursting with velvety bramble and spice flavours and, in spite of its youth, it is already drinking perfectly. The 2017 Quinta do Boavista Rufia (£17), made from 40% rufete, 40% jaen and 20% touriga nacional, has a sour cherry-cola flavour and a wondrous, bitter acidic kick on the finish.

Both wines are great fun, genuinely engaging and superbly responsible. While their method of transport to our shores is certainly ancient, and to be applauded, the flavours in these delicious red wines are modern, accurate and unlike any others I have tasted.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)


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