Selections from Portugal: Affordable Current Releases

Portugal is home to 400 varieties of grapes, many of which make delicious wines and most of which are unfamiliar to the average consumer.  In this article, we review some current releases of white and red blends of Portuguese grape varieties that offer excellent quality for the money.  These wines come from three of Portugal’s well-known wine regions: Vinho Verde, Dão, and the Douro. To learn more about Portugal’s exciting wines, read our report on The New Wines of Portugal.

Vinho Verde

Esporão 2019 Bico Amarelo Vinho Verde ($12) 89 The Bico Amarelo is a blend of Loureio, Alvarinho, and Avesso. Lightly aromatic, it is fresh tasting and crisp on the palate with hints of citrus and peach. It is an easy drinking wine like so many other Vinho Verdes and is offered at a very affordable price.

Quinta do Ameal 2019 Loureiro Vinho Verde ($18) 90  The Quinta Ameal Loureiro is a delicious wine sourced from an historic property in the Lima River region of Vinho Verde. The indigenous Loureiro grape displays aromas of citrus and is mouth filling on the palate with over all freshness and lively acidity.

Dão

Broadbent 2019 Dão White Dão ($15) 90  This is a very clean, crisp and dry white wine that’s easy to drink. There’s attractive citrus fruit with hints of thyme and lemon zest on the palate with good balancing acidity and a nice long, flavorful finish. Good as an aperitif or paired with modern, light cuisine.  A blend of Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Bícal and Gouveia grapes fermented separately in stainless steel and subsequently blended.  Made by Sogrape Vinhos for Broadbent. The winemaker is Beatriz Cabral de Almeida. 13% alc

Douro

Broadbent 2019 Red Douro ($13) 89  This fruit-driven blend of Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Franca begins with a fragrant bouquet of ripe dark red fruit with brambly spice notes. The rich fruit character continues on the palate and medium long finish. A good, honest and unpretentious wine that’s well worth the price. Sourced from several Douro vineyards.  Luis Sottomayor is the winemaker.  13% alc.

Broadbent 2018 Red Reserve Douro ($24) 91  The Reserve Red is a complex and expressive wine that shows a nose of dark fruit complemented by nuances of tobacco, bitter chocolate, and toasted oak.  Made in the international style, it’s densely flavored of dark red fruit and spice with savory underpinnings on a well-focused palate and finishes with excellent persistence.  A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinta Barocca sourced from several vineyards in the Douro and matured in oak for 12 months. Luis Sottomayor is the winemaker. 14% alc.

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