December 10, 2018

One of the things that we love about modern winemaking in Portugal is the general ability of producers to take international varieties and let them express the terroir, without hewing to a certain style. So you will find whites like Viognier and Chardonnay across Portugal in a number of different outcomes. We had the 2016 blend of these two grapes from Quinta do Pinto, in Aldeia Galega de Merceana, at our lunch at Taberna do Areal in Alenquer in November.

On the nose, I found the fragrance of sweet peas, with a hint of brioche, showing how the wine had been partially aged in French oak barrels. To taste, quince and pear shone through the medium-bodied white, with a creamy mouthfeel and a lingering finish. Superb with the Bacalhau Gomes de Sâ we enjoyed as part of our almoço.

Vintage & Producer: 2016 Quinta do Pinto

From: VR Lisboa

Style: Medium-bodied, fruity, bready white

Variety: Viognier and Chardonnay

Price: About €11 retail at DOC Lisboa Wines, in Alenquer

December 3, 2018

As we wrap up the first year of our weekly wine selection, we’re excited to focus on the wines of the Alenquer DOC and viticultural region of Lisboa. With our lunch last Monday, we asked Joana Moreiro, of Taberna do Areal in Alenquer, if she had a Vital-based suggestion. She offered the Empatia, produced by the Adega Cooperativa da Labrugeira, in cooperation with the Câmara Municipal de Alenquer, and the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária–a pursuit designed to preserve and celebrate the native grapes of the DOC.

Rich with florals on the nose, of jasmine and others, with a palate of underlying fruit and more forward honeyed tones, this medium-weight white wine went well with our petiscos, including the special brand of ovos rotos served by the taberna. We’ll return for more! 13,5% abv.

Vintage & Producer: 2016 Adega Cooperativa da Labrugeira

From: DOC Alenquer

Style: Medium-bodied, richly floral white

Variety: Vital

Price: About €6 retail at DOC Lisboa Wines, in Alenquer