Not long ago, Portugal was only known for its beautifully crafted fortified wines (Ports) and less so for the easy, quaffable white wines of the north (Minho) or juicy reds of the Dao, Bairrada or the Alentejo. Nowadays this has been rectified, most of wine drinkers having met with the delicious Vinho Verde or similar white wines of the Minho and neighbouring Douro valley. With indigenous grape varieties that abound in the Portuguese vineyards there are certainly some great examples to try, and today we are focusing on 3 summery, fresh , inviting wines that you’ll love to try.
First comes from Minho, the greater area in the north of the Douro that encompasses the Vinho Verde too.
Leira Seca, Fernando da Rosa 2016 is a beautifully crafted blend of Alvarinho and Trajadura, crisp and balanced citrussy notes with a warm stone fruit feel on the nose , approaching the palate with gorgeous ripe fruit and continuing with a lemony vibe that just springs Summer into mind. Paired with some seafood risotto and it will make your day!
The second wine we thought about today is the well known Vinho Verde , but today there are so many to choose from, luckily we have a pretty special example in Clip, Vinho Verde 2015 which is a 100% Loureiro wine. This grape variety, although found in many Vinho Verde examples, is seldom seen on its own, so it is no surprise that the flavour is bolder, richer, full of melon, touch of grapefruit and bursting with a citrus oil that keeps bringing you to try more. Both the nose and the palate are dominated by the ripe melon feel and it does not disappoint on the freshness level too. Less spritzy than its “greener” cousins, a delight it is nonetheless ! Pair this with your garden, sunshine provided!
The third and final suggestion is coming from revered Douro, where once only Port was the master, now there is plenty of room for more of the local, sometimes obscure grape varieties that grow together , fighting for every sand , stone and drop of water on the steep slopes of the valley.
Quinta de la Rosa, La Rosa Reserva 2015 is a craft of the land, the demanding castas (grapes) and the rewarding winemaker. A blend of mainly Viosinho, accompanied by Rabigato, Arinto and Gouveio alongside many other white varieties it brings to nose flavours of white blossom, pear, fragrant apple, green herb and a juicy lemony spritz. More body than the previous two but with lots of freshness, derived also from its mineral core, it continues on the palate with juicy pear and stone fruit, enveloped in an almost spicy citrus blend and green herb. Textured and fresh in the same time, it is a rewarding example to any kind of dish that is aromatic but also requires both body and freshness. Have this one paired with grilled Mozambique gambas (large prawns, from a once colony of Portugal) !
Enjoy the summer days while they last, come in and help yourselves with these gorgeous wines!