Located in Estremoz, Quinta de Dona Maria (also known as Quinta do Carmo) is an arrestingly beautiful early 18th century estate, reputedly built by King João V for his mistress, Dona Maria. In the 19th century, the estate was acquired by the Reynolds family, the Alicante Bouschet pioneers who founded Herdade do Mouchão. Inheriting it from an aunt who married into the Reynolds family, Júlio Bastos re-established the family tradition of winemaking, making waves with a succession of Garrafeira releases from 1985, 1986, 1987. They attracted the attention of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), who became partners in Júlio’s original Quinta do Carmo brand in 1992. Wanting to pursue his own vision, Júlio sold the Quinta do Carmo brand to Lafite, establishing the Dona Maria brand in 2003. Whilst he broke with the French, he did not break with French varieties. Júlio firmly believes Petit Verdot will be the Alicante Bouschet of the 21st century, which is saying something. His polished flagship wine – an Alicante Bouschet – is superb and, aged in 100% new French oak, is quite different from Herdade do Mouchão, another benchmark example.