Portuguese wines have a long history and offer real diversity. But when you are faced with the vast choice on offer, it helps to have personal recommendations. We asked the Algarve Wine Society for their favourites
Every year, the Algarve Wine Society is introduced to a huge number of wines by makers from across the Iberian Peninsula – everything from entry-level, readily-available supermarket wine to superb, top-of-the-market individually- numbered bottles of wine, lovingly created from hand- picked grapes. With many a long, hot summer evening ahead and barbeques galore on the agenda, the wine choice has to be cool, light and fruity… say Society members.
In the Pink
Rosé is the perfect summer wine and Portugese rosé can hold its own anywhere on the world stage. It has come a long way in recent years, and today is as good if not better than many French, Italian and Californian rosés. These, recommended by members, are worth trying and will definitely be enjoyed:
Barranco Longo Rosé
– delicate lush dry rosés are in vogue at the moment but Barranco Longo Rosé 2017 is not one of those. For a start, it has a rich strawberry colour, contributing to the impression left by the bouquet and first taste, which is loaded with red fruit. Lingering longer (and why not?) notes of melon sweetness come through. This wine is a little off-dry; its greatest virtues are its versatility and easy drinking style. Good as an aperitif or barbecue accompaniment, it continues to deliver, even when no longer fridge temperature. Without question, this is an all- round pleaser.” €6.99, Apolonia. Recommended by Alison West
Barranco Longo Oaked Rosé
comes elegantly presented with a delicate blush, perfectly tinted for summer drinking. With 12% alcohol, it is fresh and not too sweet; the light smoky, oaky background balanced by a fruity finish. An ideal treat for a summer choice. Around €9, Apolonia
Recommended by Anne Green, past President
Al Ria Rosé
This Vinho Regional Algarve is produced by Casa Santa Lima from the best parcels of Touriga Nacional and Syrah grapes, newly-planted in the Tavira area. An intense and shiny pink colour, and with an aroma of strawberries and blackberries, it is intense on the palate with a fresh, balanced persistency. An excellent choice to pair with salads, seafood, grilled meat and oriental dishes, or to simply enjoy as an aperitif. 12% alcohol.
Around €2.99, Intermarché, €2.50 Jumbo
Recommended by Gaynor Stapleton – President – Algarve Wine Society
A newcomer on the block and another from the Algarve. Fabulously clear and clean to the eye, this wine is created from an unusual blend of a rare grape, Negra Mole, and the less rare Touriga Nacional. Strawberries, pomegranate and a hint of raspberry are part of the personality. Made by Quinta da Vinha near Silves. 12.5% alcohol .
Around €4.99, Apolonia
Recommended by Gaynor Stapleton
White wines need to be chilled but not over chilled to the point of affecting the aroma and taste. Temperatures of around 10∞C are ideal. point of affecting the aroma and taste. Temperatures of around 10C are ideal.
Quinta de Santána is a small English/German owned vineyard near Mafra in the wine region of Lisboa. It produces an excellent, and unusual, ‘Atlantic’ Riesling (2015). Overtones of lemon, herbs, pear and grapefruit make it perfect for summer drinking. 12.5% alcohol. For price contact quintadesantana.com Recommended by Gaynor Stapleton.
An excellent citrusy vino branco is produced right here in the Central Algarve. This heavenly blend of Arinto and Tamarez is lovingly produced by Helwig Elhers Single Vineyard on a pretty hillside midway between Sta Barbara de Nexe and the small village of Agostos. The 2017 Branco is fresh and fruity, derived from good ripe grapes, and perfect as an aperitif and with salads and seafood. 12.4% alcohol.
Available from the vineyard by appointment (289 999 100) €35 per case of six Recommended by Michael Berger
The relatively small Casa Agricola Pinto Barbosa at Vila Nova de Foz Coa in the upper Douro Valley produces this white wine. It is made entirely from the Rabigato grape, exclusive to the region. The wine is fruity, fresh and dry and goes very well with fish. Drink it young. The taste is surprisingly long and the initial dryness gives way to a hint of apricots. In Culto is well worth seeking out on a restaurant wine list, wine shops and supermarkets with cellars. The price is remarkable for such a distinctive wine. 13.5% alcohol. €5-€6. For details of availability, email firstname.lastname@example.org –Recommended by Clive Viney
2016 comes from the Douro
and is made by the excellent wine maker
Jorge Serodio Borge, oenologist for Quinta do
Passadouro near Pinhao. A blend of Rabigato
and Codega do Larinho, it is fresh and intense.
Recommended by Gaynor Stapleton
2016 composed of 60% Gouveio, 30% Arinto and 10% Viosinho grapes, comes from the eminent Quinta da Plansel owned by the ‘King’ of vine growing, Hans- Jorge Bohm, and is crafted by his daughter, Dorina Lindemann and her team in Montemor-o-Novo. It is a lovely light citrus colour with aromas of ripened fruits, white peach, citrus and pineapple. Eclectic on the palate and with a good finish, a favourite white wine for summer drinking. 13% alcohol.
Around €5, Intermarche
Recommended by David Hart
Red wines for summer, serious drinking but suitable for ‘quaffing’ without food, are more difficult and need to
be young, fresh and fruity. They can even be served very slightly chilled.
2014 from Helwigus is another excellent fruity, summer wine. It is both light and fruity, and, when slightly cool (chill for 20 minutes before drinking), is perfect for all occasions and outstanding with a BBQ. Available from the vineyard by appointment (289 999 100)
Around €45 per case of six
Recommended by Michael Berger
2016 is a fresh red, readily-available wine produced by the very good Sociedade Agricola in the village of Pias in the lower Alentejo, known in the old days as As Pias; the wine was named as a tribute to its inhabitants. A blend of Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Franca grapes, it is soft, fresh, fruity and highly affordable. 14% alcohol. €2.99, Continente – Recommended by Gaynor Stapleton – The same winery also sells a three-litre boxed wine called Margaca, which is very drinkable and popular for parties. Around €7 per box
From the top-class Quinta das Marias winery in the Dao, is a very special and a seriously good wine, perfect to serve when you wish to impress. The Knights of the Templar brought this grape to Portugal and Peter Eckert
(Quinta Das Marias) cultivated it and made a wonderful wine. 14% alcohol.
Recommended by Ewald Rottland