The Paxis Red Blend 2013 is a blend of Touriga Nacional (this THE red grape of Portugal), Tinta Roriz (also known as Tempranillo), and Touriga Franca (an indigenous grape that mixes well with Touriga Nacional) sourced from vineyards in the Lisboa region of Portugal. I found Paxis on sale for $6.99 and while this is the 2013 vintage the current vintage is 2015, though if possible, seek out the 2013, it was named #5 on Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys for 2016. Having a wine with 5 years of additional aging is rare in sub-$10 wine, they are almost always produced in a drink-it-now style where the wine is intentionally made to be fully drinkable in a short period of time. The Paxis does not seem to be a drink-it-now wine, even though Wine Enthusiast ranked it high in 2016, they said it is best not to drink it until 2017 and now in 2018 it is fully ready to go. The tech notes for the Paxis does not mention any oak aging and the wine was only aged one additional month after bottling, so this blend seems to be something of a throw back wine, maybe not fully a modern wine. Then again, Portuguese wine doesn’t copy anybody else, they do things their way. The alcohol content is a rather mild, in this day and age, 12.5%.
The color is ruby-red with clack highlights, you can see thru it, but just barely. The nose is not your usual 7 buck wine, all bright and bursting with fruit, the Paxis is settled in, maybe slightly musty, extracted blackberry, tea, exotic spice and a touch savory. Ok, the nose showed the extra age, but palate is sleek, crisp and clean, with rich fruit flavor. It tastes of blackberry, deep, dark, licorice, and ripe plum. The mid-palate shows a sharp slap of spice, raisin, and raspberry. I expected the tannins to grab your palate a little, but they didn’t, they are smooth and sweet and the acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is mild, fades before to long, but does linger.
The Paxis Red Blend 2013 tastes more like a wine you get by the glass at a wine bar, than a $6.99 wine from your local beverage super store. Once it opens up, it shows loads of balanced flavor and an admirable amount of structure. This is a 7 buck real-deal Portuguese Red, if you have not spent much time exploring the wines of Portugal the Paxis is an excellent place to start, just be sure to open the bottle (it’s a screw cap) and hour or 2 before drinking and you will have an excellent bottle for a very low price.