Tag: malvasia

Portugal as a land of wine: the wine regions of Lisboa and Ribatejo

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The district of Lisbon has always been present in the history of wine culture of Portugal. Much of the production of white wines of Bucelas (Denomination of Origin region from 1911 until today) regularly travelled to English court.

In Colares (near Sintra), there are the country’s oldest vines. After several decades falling into oblivion, the Adega Cooperativa de Colares has developed and boosted its production. Here there are produced “crianzas” (4 years required), open coloured and approximately 12.5% alcohol content. The main grapes are Ramisco, in red wines, and the delicate Malvasia, in white wines. Anyone who has had the opportunity to taste the wines from this area certainly have noticed that they are a little jewel in terms of body and very special aroma.

Another wine region that shares territory with the Tagus river is Ribatejo, known for its generous wine production for the domestic market, thanks to large areas of flat terrain and temperate climate, which once supplied the Portuguese colonies in Africa.

From the 80s the Ribatejo vineyards have undergone major restructuring, coming from its cellars themselves, now with stainless steel tanks -before concrete-, oak barrels for aged wines, and even the production legislation of regional wines, which allows the use of strains not admitted by the DO, which consequently opens a wide range of possibilities to create new wines.
The traditional strains are many: Periquita and Castelão Nacional are the queens of the reds, while for the whites they usually use Fernão Pires and Arinto, among others. But the vineyard restructuring has allowed the introduction of international strains such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah, with excellent results. Their white wines are fruity and with floral aromas, and reds are aromatic with soft tannins.

Also in Lisbon there is a great wine production with the strain Periquita, in addition to Touriga Nacional and others. The Lourinhã region develops excellent aged spirits and just off, in Óbidos (Leiria district) they produce a very aromatic liqueur, garnet red, called Ginginha de Óbidos, and some varieties have aromas of cinnamon or vanilla. Carcavelos wines, the smallest Portuguese wine region, are syrupy, age very well and have a topaz colour and aroma of almonds.

Arruda dos Vinhos – Lisbon (also called “Ruta de vinos” or wine route) produce some of the best wines in the region, maintaining its quality for over 50 years. The reds are robust, garnet red and whites are light, straw or citrine coloured.

Since the choice is difficult… our recommendations for today are more than two : )

From the Lisbon district:

From Ribatejo we offer a white wine and a red wine. The first is the result of the union between the traditional Fernão Pires with Sauvignon Blanc; the second is born from Touriga Nacional and Syrah.

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Chocapalha 2010: a red wine with this DO: Lisbon with a blend based on the 2010 grapes and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

 

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Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2014: a white wine Lisbon based on sauvignon blanc of 2014 and has a volume of alcohol of 13º. 

 

 

*Article originally published by Rita Bonet at O Blog de Uvinum

More varieties of white grape

Many of you have commented on the previous post on Twitter, missing some white grape types. As discussed, the post was talking about some white grapes. However, since your wish is my command, here are some more, so you can buy wine knowing what flavor you seek:

 - Verdejo

The verdejo grape has boomed since the late years, when has jumped from Rueda, where it originated and was the ?queen?, to many other areas now investigating and working it with relative success. Verdejo wines usually have a very light color, something that is taken as a merit, and a flavor somewhere between sour and bitter (sour at first, and slightly bitter aftertaste at the end). Hence, people identify the sour aromas of the grape with those from green apple, citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit), and even pineapple and banana. A good verdejo wine usually comes pretty inexpensive compared to other grapes, like the Afortunado 2010, which is really delicious.

Malvasia

Malvasia is a grape that produces intense golden yellow wines, with aromas of peach, litchi, pineapple… In the same manner verdejo is midway between sour and bitter, malvasia is halfway between sour and sweet, although the latter usually prevails. This plant is very delicate, so there are no great malvasia vineyards, but is often used to give a sweet touch to some white wines, except in the Canary Islands, producing great wines of this variety, for example, El Grifo Malvasia Seco 2011.

Macabeo (or viura)

The macabeo/viura is one of the most widespread grapes, since it resists the cold very well and is sensitive to Botrytis, a mold that is used to elaborate certain sweet wines such as Tokay. It produces a wine with delicate aromas of fresh grass, hay, white flowers and pale yellow color with green shades, slightly alcoholic. Ideal for white rice or gnocchi. It is widely used as a mixture for the production of cava. There are not many macabeo varietal wines, which tend to be very dry. Still, there are good white wines from macabeo such as Albet I Noya 3 Macabeus 2009, a special and delicate wine.

Muscat

We continue with the muscat grape, which can be both red and white, though normally used only in white wines. As the grape skin is what gives color to the wine, when using the red muscat grapes, the must has to be separated from the skin immediately, in order to avoid its coloration. Still, muscat wines tend to be amber or copper colored. As malvasia, it contains quite sugar, so usually holds up well over time, and the raisin can be used to make sweet wines (the muscat wines we have ever known). It has aromas of honey, peaches in syrup, candied fruits… A very good young muscat wine (less sweet) at a great price is Reymos, from the appellation of origin Valencia.

Riesling

Finally, although there are still many, we end, at least for today, with the riesling, a grape which produces wines with very light colors with bright highlights, and aromas of green apple, citrus and orange flowers. It is a wine with low alcohol and is used especially in cold areas, since otherwise it can be poorly aromatic. If you want to try a tasty wine from this grape, Sumarroca elaborates the Sumarroca Riesling 2011, which has very good value for money.