Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Vinho Verde Comes In Pink, Too

The Vinho Verde wine region in northern Portugal is home to some of the best white wines this side of Albariño.  Vinho Verde means, "green wine," which is not a color reference but a suggestion that the wine is quite youthful.  The white wines of Vinho Verde typically have a wonderful acidity and a slightly fizzy nature.  The lower alcohol content makes them great choices for summer sipping by the pool, but they work quite well as aperitifs at holiday parties and pair graciously with cheese plates or pasta.

Enoport United Wines has nearly 20 different brands under its Portuguese umbrella.  The name Faisão is derived from the word for a pheasant that was brought from Asia to Portugal in the middle ages.  The bird's brightly colored plumage references the hue in the bottle of the 2018 Enoport Faisão Rosé.

Winemaker Nuno Faria blended Espadeiro, Borraçal and Padeiro grapes to make this fizzy, pink wine.  I don’t think I have ever had any of those grapes before.  The grapes were completely destemmed before being crushed, which keeps the focus on the fruit and minimizes herbal notes.  Alcohol is quite low at just 10.5% abv, and the price is close to rock bottom as well, at less than $10.

This wine pours up salmon pink and fizzy in the glass.  The bubbles dissipate quickly, but they are surprising and fun.  Aromas of a wet driveway hit the nose first, a sure sign of minerality.  There are fruity raspberry and cherry notes as well as a whiff of flowers.  On the palate, raspberry and cherry flavors dominate, with a touch of lime.  The acidity is surprisingly low, but the wine sure is tasty.

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