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The Cellar: Summer Values from Portugal

Saturday, June 16, 2012

 

This week our wine wine journey takes us to Portugal, whose presence in the global wine trade dates back centuries. While the country is traditionally known for its fortified wines Port and Madeira, it is Portugal’s table wines that in recent years have stolen the international spotlight. Portugal is a great place to look, especially for consumers who are looking for quality wines that also represent good values. If you have a thirst for more and would like to expand your knowledge about wine in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, you should consider attending one of my ‘Evening with Wine’ events. The next such event, featuring the diverse wines of Italy, is scheduled for Thursday July 12th. For more information visit www.ProvidenceWineAcademy.com

2011 Cape Roca Alvarinho, Minho, Portugal

Minho is located in Portugal’s northwestern corner. The region runs along the Spanish border facing the famed Rias Baixas region to the north. Minho is the coolest and wettest part of the Portugal so it is not surprising that it is the

white varietals that dominate the landscape in this region. The most widely planted grape varietal in this area is Alvarinho, a grape varietal known for producing light everyday wines usually filled with refreshing acidity with stone fruit and citrus flavors.

One of my favorite things about the Alvarinho is the aromatics. If you like smelling your wine I suggest you grab an Alvarinho like the $15 Cape Roca Alvarinho from Casca Wines. Sourced from the Quinta de Lourosa and Quinta do Quteiro de Bairros vineyards in Minho, this Alvarinho is a great example of what the varietal brings to the table. I could smell this wine for days. On the palate the wine comes across crisp and refreshing with stone fruits, honeysuckle and hints of green apple, with citrus fruits on the finish.

2008 Quinta de Cabriz Reserva, Dão, Portugal

This week’s second wine is a traditional red blend from the central Portuguese wine region of Dão. Dão is located inland along the river that bears the same name and surrounded by mountains. The conditions in this area are

enhanced by a stable continental climate that makes it possible to grow all sorts of grapes. While the diverse grapes grown here produce all types and styles of wine, the region's specialty is hearty red blends made primarily from the Touriga Nacional grape, a widely popular varietal grown on most Portuguese wine regions and one of the principle varietals in Port, Douro and others. 

Quinta de Cabriz is part of a 4-prong wine dynasty that began making wine in the Dão in 1989. Since its inception the co-op has expanded its holdings across Portugal. Today the company makes wine in Douro, Bairrada, Estremadura and Alentejo. The grapes in the 2008 Cabriz Reserva are sourced from the original 85 acre Cabriz Estate and its surrounding partner vineyards. It is a traditional red blend made from Touriga Nacional, Alfrocherio and Tinta Roiz. Rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine this structured $15 gem is one to seek out displaying deliciously savory aromas on the nose, alongside ripe dark fruit flavors with earthy undertones on the palate.

Enjoy!

Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at [email protected] 

 

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