Herdade Do Esporao Reserva White 2015
Herdade do Esporão ("The Esporão Homestead") with nearly 700 hectares of organic vineyards and olive groves, proudly stands as the largest organic estate in Portugal. Located in the Alentejo’s, Reguengos Sub-Region, Herdade do Esporão produces full-bodied yet elegant wines that are rounded and seductive, due to the combination of poor, stony soils, and a dramatic climate. It is here, that Alentejo wines are most balanced, whilst powerful, appealing, lively and with good aging potential.
Herdade do Esporão boasts a rich history, with its boundaries that have remained unchanged since the year 1267. The winery is often represented by the iconic white tower, built in the 1400's which stands a symbol of the historical shift from Mid-evil to Modern times in Portugal. Today, Herdade do Esporão remains under the ownership of the Roquette family. Together, both family and estate represent a winery that is founded on sustainability and organic agricultural practices. These practices reflect a commitment to making the finest products that nature provides in a responsible and inspiring way.
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 Portuguese wines of various styles.
The Douro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red Portuguese 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 Portuguese 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.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.