Best New Table Wines from Portugal

As an antidote to high Burgundy prices, I offer notes on some of the better Portuguese table wines currently available in the U.S. market, out of nearly 200 wines tasted this winter. Portugal continues to offer solid value in the $10 to $20 range, with the occasional screaming buy in single digits. Some of Portugal's most interesting, most concentrated and most modern-style wines are now varietal bottlings from the main grapes used to produce port, especially touriga nacional and tinta roriz (Spain's tempranillo). And they are coming not just from the Douro region, the home of port production, but from the Dao and elsewhere.
Please note that, in providing appellations, I have mixed regional wines and wines with more specific denomination of origin. The category of vinho regional is less restrictive in terms of permitted grapes and blends than D.O. wines, as well as less specific geographically. For example, the important appellations of Bairrada and Dao lie within the larger Beiras area of north-central Portugal, while the D.O. Alentejo covers closely defined areas within the large southern area whose wines are labeled vinho regional Alentejano. Terras do Sado is another vinho regional.