Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boston Wine Expo: Portuguese Wines & LGL Imports

Every year at the Grand Tasting of the Boston Wine Expo, I make time to stop by the LGL Imports tables, to check out their diverse portfolio of Portuguese wines. And every year, I find delicious wines, which are often excellent values too. I always recommend that my friends and readers stop by their tables, to discover the wonders of Portuguese wine. Last year, two wines from LGL Imports made my 2015 Top Ten Wines Under $15 and one of their other wines made my 2015 Top Ten Wines Over $15 (but under $50).

As I've said before: "I love the fact that Portugal possesses an abundance of intriguing indigenous grapes, which can provide a unique taste to their wines. You can find tasty Portuguese wines for under $10 which are better than similarly priced wines from most any other wine region. Portugal is rich in vinous history, and their wines pair very well with an abundance of foods. If you're not drinking Portuguese wines, you need to rush out and sample them."

Please also check out All About Portuguese Wines to find links to my myriad of previous articles about the wines of Portugal, including Port.

This year, I sampled seven of the LGL Portuguese wines, with the only caveat that they had to be produced only from indigenous grapes. I want to taste Portugal in every sip and feel that their indigenous grapes provides me the best path. These seven wines will help you understand the allure of Portuguese wines. In addition, these are some incredible values, all but one which cost under $10!  (Though note that prices will vary across the country, and also from wine store to wine store.) It is very difficult in most wine regions to find such delicious wines under $10 but Portugal seems to  deliver time and time again at this price point.

First, I began with four white wines, and overall they were crisp and fruity, easy drinking wines with more character than many similarly priced wines. They would be excellent summer wines but could be enjoyed during the winter too. Though you can enjoy them on their own, they are definitely great food wines, with everything from seafood to chicken dishes. They will appeal to most wine lovers seeking a delicious, bargain white wine.

The 2013 Caves Velhas Bucellas ($9.99) is produced from the Arinto grape, offering bright citrus flavors with with some floral notes. Fresh, crisp and tasty. The 2014 Herdade Das Albernoas ($7.99), made from Antão Vaz & Arinto, is also fresh, crisp and fruity but with some herbal accents. The 2013 Montes Claros Colheita White ($9.99) is a blend of Roupeiro, Arinto and Antão Vaz, offering another fresh, crisp and fruity wine, with more grapefruit and lime flavors.  The 2014 Adega De Borba White ($7.99), also made from Roupeiro, Arinto and Antão Vaz, had a similar taste profile though the lime was more prominent and there were some subtle orange notes.

The 2013 Herdade Paco de Conde Tinto ($9.99) is a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Nacional, spending about three months in French and American oak. With an appealing nose of earthiness and black fruit, the wine is smooth and dry, with an intense melange of flavors, including black cherry, ripe plum, spice and earthy accents. This wine is an overachiever, presenting so much more complexity and character than most other wines at this price point. Pair this with everything from pizza to burgers, steak to ribs. At this price, you should buy it by the case so you always have a bottle on hand.

The 2011 Caves Messias Quinta do Cachão ($8.99), a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz, is a bit more tannic (though still well controlled) and less earthy, with delicious black fruit flavors, hints of spice, and nice acidity. This is more a food wine, best with hearty dishes. I can picture this in the summer, enjoying a thick burger or slab of ribs off the grill.

The most expensive wine of the seven, and still a good value wine, is the 2010 Quinta do Penedo Dão Red ($13.99), a blend of Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro. On the nose, this wine had a stronger earthy aroma with spicy accents. On the palate, it was the biggest of the three red wines, with plenty of earthy notes, big spice and black fruit flavors. This is clearly a food wine, best with a hearty dish like a thick steak or a fettuccine ragu. As I enjoy earthy wines, this appealed to me very much though I understand why some wine lovers aren't fans.  

Which Portuguese wines did you enjoy at the Boston Wine Expo?

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