Vinhos de Lisboa [Wines of Lisbon]

The Comissão Vitivinícola da Região Lisboa presented new releases of several producers at tastings in New York and Washington this week. In centuries past these wines were highly sought after. In today’s globalized world they are almost impossible to find, at least in the US market. Apparently consumers purchase only the types of wines they already know. But they’re then missing out on some very special wines. We reviewed several wines from this region in our Report # 24 The New Wines of Portugal.

The Lisboa region—located in the cool coastal area north of the city—is best known for the fresh, high acid Arinto, a white wine that pairs especially well with seafood. The best Arinto is grown in the appellation called Bucelas. But elsewhere in the Lisboa region Arinto is blended with other indigenous varietals like Viosinho, Fernão Pires, and Vital and sometimes aged in oak. And vineyards located in the inland areas of Lisboa are producing excellent wines made of Rhone varietals like Viognier and Syrah. The best are produced in the appellations called Alenquer and Óbidos.

Our favorite Lisboa producers are Quinta da Romeira, Quinta da Chocapalha, Quinta de Pancas, and Quinta do Monte D’Oiro. Good wines are also produced by Casa Santos Lima, Companhia Agrícola Sanguinhal, and Quinta do Pinto. Other producers we are less familiar with include Cámara Municipal de Oeiras, Quinta do Montalto, and Terra da Eira. We don’t recommend straying too far away from these producers. Lisboa also produces a lot of low quality, inexpensive vinho da mesa, but fortunately not much of it is imported to the US.

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