Saturday, October 4, 2014

Herdade do Esporão: Value White Wines

I can't say it enough. Portuguese wines offer some of the best values in the wine world. You'll find plenty of Portuguese wines under $15, and even a fair share under $10, that provide more depth, flavor and complexity than comparably priced wines from most other wine regions. If you aren't drinking Portuguese wines, then you need to immediately check them out because you are clearly missing out.

One of my favorite Portuguese producers is Herdade do Esporão and you can read some of my prior posts about their wines, including Portuguese Rosé From Herdade do EsporãoBoston Wine Expo: From Portuguese Pleasures to JerkyEsporão and Murças: Wines Spawned By Love and The Passion of Portugal: Esporão and Murças. I've recently tasted media samples of the latest vintages of three of their value-priced white wines, and they continue to be worthy of a hearty recommendation.

The 2013 Monte Velho White ($9.99) is a white blend of three indigenous grapes: Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum,  A crisp, clean and delicious wine, it presents pleasing peach and citrus flavors with a hint of herbal notes on the finish. For less than $10, this is an excellent value, delivering more complexity and flavor than many similarly priced wines from other regions. It isn't a one-note wine, but rather an inexpensive wine that presents some character. An excellent food wine as well.

The 2013 Herdade do Esporão Duas Castas ($12.99). is a white blend of Gouveio and Verdelho, two grapes which once were thought to be the same. "Duas" means "two" and "Castas" means "grape varietals," so the name has a clear meaning. The Duas Castas, which has seen some aging on the lees, offers a fuller mouthfeel, but offers the same crisp, clean taste as the Monte Velho. It presents more citrus flavors with a mineral backbone. Another excellent value wine, and very good food wine,, that is easy drinking but far from simple.

The 2013 Herdade do Esporão Verdelho ($12.99) is made from 100% Verdelho, and was also crisp and clean, with plenty of character for the price. The tastes tend toward citrus fruits, including some grapefruit, with some minerality notes. Easy drinking, and with a pleasing finish, this wine will pair well with many foods, from seafood to light chicken dishes.

Though all three wines are perfect for the summer, they will please you year round. They present excellent values, delicious tastes, and plenty of character. Seafood is a great choice with these wines, though I'm sure you'll find they will pair well with plenty of other choices as well.

Get on the Portuguese wine wagon now. What are you waiting for?

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