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The familiar images of Portugal – Mateus Rosé, Port, and Madeira – do no more than hint at the incredible diversity of this wine country. Portugal is now a key exporter of premium – and super–premium–table wines, labels that can compete with the best of Rioja, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. It is a country of endless possibilities and opportunities: Portugal boasts a number of distinct wine regions, each with their portfolio of indigenous grape varieties, unique terroirs, and climates. Its landscapes, ranging from the Minho’s undulating green hills to the Douro’s steep terraces, are achingly beautiful. Above all, Portugal is a nation of contrasts. Indeed, critics, sommeliers, and consumers are increasingly drawn to this once-marginalized country.
 In the 21st century, Portugal has emerged as a serious white wine producer – now a real competitor to Spain over the border. If you seek proof, take a trip to the beautiful vineyards of the Minho; the quality of white Vinho Verde has changed out of all recognition over the past decade. The key white variety of the Bucelas region, Arinto, is now grown across the country, much appreciated for its ripe acidity that does not diminish in warm areas. Bairrada’s Bical is another superstar grape, as is the tropical-scented and voluptuous Antão Vaz. In the right hands, Antão Vaz can yield very complex and, dare we say it, rather Burgundian-style whites. But this is simply the beginning; we haven’t even started to talk about the incredible wines of the Douro or the eruption of winemaking talent on the Azores.
Broadbent 'Sunflower' Vinho Verde NV 750ml
The wine is produced at Quinta de Azevedo in the Barcelos commune—the top quality area for Vinho Verde production. Vinho Verde is traditionally non-vintage and consumed quickly, so the wine on the shelf will always be a fresh bottling. The way to make a proper Vinho Verde is to suppress the malolactic fermentation and inject carbon dioxide at bottling to give the wine its characteristic spritz.
Portugal Boutique Winery Gorro Vinho Verde Loureiro 2021
The Loureiro comes from two vineyards, about three kilometers from the ocean, each around 40 years of age (these are babies when compared to what you might find in high elevation plots in eastern Portugal, but for Vinho Verde these are ancient).
While most of the vineyard land of Vinho Verde is actually considerably inland, tucked away into the granite mountains of the region, the vineyards of Lima are traditionally planted MUCH closer to the ocean, where the region’s signature grape, Loureiro, flourishes.
Gorro is a word that generally refers to both the flat caps that you will see worn by older farmers across Europe and the farmers themselves. Gorro is a project which seeks out old vines in Vinho Verde, farmed responsibly, and with very simple yet precise winemaking.
Pormenor Branco Douro DOC 2020
Typical blend of Douro, Rabigato, Malvasia fina, Codega do Larinho and Gouveio. Clean and vibrant straw color with fresh floran aromas and great minerality. Notes of citrus, pineapple, yellow apple and white flower. Good to drink by itself and also with food with a light and medium structure. Best enjoyed with fish dishes, seafood, soft cheeses and poultry.
Portugal Wine Firm 'Belzebu' Tavora-Varosa Verdelho 2020
Portugal Wine Firm is a project that bases its philosophy on the production of authentic, minimalist intervention wines that express the terroir, character, and authenticity of the regional wines. This Verdelho is from Távora Varosa, a smaller and less exported region just south of the Douro. Vinified in stainless steel, aged for 6 months (3 months battonage and 3 months sur lies).
Muxagat Branco Douro 2020
Grapes: 60% Rabigato, 30% Arinto and 10% Gouveio
Vinification: The grapes are harvested by hand from a vineyard in Fonte Longa and arrive at the winery in 20kg boxes and cool for 12 hours. Grapes are hand sorted and pressed in vertical press with stems and the must is settled in underground stainless steel tanks. Fermentation is done with indigenous yeast only. Aging in used French oak barrels for 10 months on fine lees.
Age of vine: 18 years
Insula Vinus Chão de Lava Açores Branco 2020
The Chão de Lava is a blend of all the traditional varieties of the Azores, coming from both thesouthern and western side of the island. Fermented and aged “sur lies” in large horizontal placed tanks.
It is an incredibly transparent wine, with Chablis like citrus fruit yet an undeniably volcanic and smoky minerality that is totally unique. The texture is round but with excellent cut.
There is arguably no man alive who is more intimately connected with the wines of the Azores than Paulo Machado. Born and raised on Pico island, Paulo has worked with the vineyards his entire life. In 1998 he started planting his own vineyards on the southern coast in São Mateus, aswell as taking stewardship over large swaths of vineyards along the historic western coast in Criação Velha.
Textura 'Textura da Estrela' Dão Branco 2020
Grapes: 60% Encruzado, 25% Bical, 15% Cerceal-Branco.
From vineyards in Vila Nova de Tazem, sub-region Serra da Estrela. 3 different parcels. 25-60 year old vines grown in granite soils Vinification: Decantation for 48 hours was proceeded after destemming and pressing the handpicked grapes (only the gently pressed juice was used to this wine). Wild fermentation took place 60% in a 2500L François Freres foudre, 30% in 500 L François Freres oak barrels and 10% in stainless steel tanks. The wine aged for 11 months “sur lie” without batonnage and other 10 months in stainless steel tanks.
Luis Marin

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