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Thursday, August 16, 2012

2 Great Summer Whites for a Song

Northern Portugal's dramatic vineyards 

I'm singing with great glee after learning about these 2 bargain Portuguese wines at a recent Society of Wine Educators meeting.  I took a group to Portugal last year…the tour sold out in record time.  There were some serious wine folk on the trip, many of whom had traveled with us to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo etc.   It didn’t take long to convert them to Portuguese wine lovers and I can’t wait to share with them and others these latest finds…perfectly timed for summer.

Both white wines are from northern Portugal not far from the Spanish border.  Adega Ponte de Lima Adamado 2011 is a rock-star considering its price.  Westchesterwine.com has it for the incredible price of $6.79---even with $40 case shipping, that’s still an unbeatable $10 bottle.  Made from a combination of 3 local grapes (regrettably, none of which we have in the US),  its 10% alcohol level makes it the ideal choice for a hot summer’s evening aperitif.  Although I loved the floral and white peach nose, as well as the lemon and slight spritz on the palate,  it was its acidity that made it sing. 

The next find, Quinta de Carapeços Alvarinho 2011, is made from the popular grape known as Albarino across the border in Spain.   This Portuguese rendition packs in aromas of white peaches and flowers, along with layers of honeysuckle and citrus in the mouth.  A great finish put it at the top of hit parade.  At present this is not imported, however, I understand that it will soon be.  Cost is expected to be well under $20 per bottle. 

If you’ve not been to Portugal recently or not tried their wines in the last 10 years, you should understand that the quality of many Portuguese wines has grown leaps and bounds.  Once a Mateus and Lancer’s landscape, Portuguese wines (both white and red) have moved well into the 21st century and represent some of the best quality/price ratios on the planet.

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