The 2011 Alqueira is a 100% Mencia cuvee, one of three indigenous red varietals permitted in the zone. To me, this $14.99 beauty is exactly what wine exploration is all about. It's soil driven aromas lead with distinct stoniness and brown spices followed by bright red cherry fruit. In the mouth, the flavors reminded me of a good, though more complex Beaujolais Villages, with tangy cherry and raspberry flavors. There's bright acidity, and a long slightly tart finish with black pepper, floral and cranberry notes. It's definitely one of those wines I could sit and ponder for awhile after dinner.
The Alqueira went really well with the shrimp quesadillas with spinach, shitakes and pepper jack that my wonderful wife cooked up for us tonight. It's imported by one of my favorites Polaner Selections. Cheers.