Azores Wine Company Verdelho O Original 2017
Bright straw-yellow. Aromas of passionfruit, pineapple, sea spray and oyster shell on the nose. On the palate, vibrant and fresh with high toned tropical fruit held in balance by impressive mid-palate weight and breadth. Finishes long and clean, with the Azores’ tell-tale saline minerality running through the finish.
What better food to eat with a wine from the islands than the bounty of the sea? Shellfish, oysters, grilled or fried fish are all excellent pairing ideas.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Verdelho Original is, emphasizes the winery, "not to be confused with Gouveio of the mainland or Verdejo of Spain. [It is a] unique grape to the islands of Portugal, Madeira and Azores. It has never been found in mainland Portugal." I repeat that every year, but it's worth doing again. An unoaked blend from three islands (80% Pico, 15% Graciosa and 5% São Miguel), it comes in with 12% alcohol. Gorgeous, this is a fresh white with fine tension and a long finish. Elegant but nicely concentrated, this is intense in a balanced way and always enlivening. It is a fine Verdelho again, one of the best in the brand so far. It should age well, but we'll take that in stages again.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.
The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.