2010 Trajarinho Vinho Verde

Taking a break from Oregon let’s get back to finishing off my Summer Top 10 Whites list. Those paying attention were likely wondering where this one was. A fave in 2009 it seems destined to be so for many years to come. Get it if you can!

Price: $8.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Vinos Unico

What They Said:

2010 Trajarinho Vinho VerdePer K&L Wines “Back again is this delicious vinho verde: fizzy, ripe and juicy, while maintaining a refreshing dryness, warm weather white wine does not get much better than this! This is one of our favorites: crisp, citric, relatively low in alcohol and in a classically dry style. Don’t let the deliciousness fool you, though; this white offers up a whole lot more complexity than the humble price might suggest. More than likely, one could attribute this amazing quality to two factors: First, the rock solid reputation and focus on quality of the Adega Cooperativo Regional de Monçao; and second, their reliance on Trajadura and Alvarinho grapes, which deliver wine of greater complexity and texture than the Paderña grape so commonly grown in the rest of the Vinho Verde region.”

What I Think:

(11.5%) 60% Alvarinho, 40% Trajadura – A long standing summer favorite of mine this one is always a crowd pleaser. Pale gold in the glass with a green tinge. Lively on the palate with a slight spritz and primary grapefruit flavors with lemon citrus. The mid-palate show a firm, clean acidity with a nice mineral depth that gives this one much more complexity than you should expect at $9. From there the quick dry, crisp finish leaves you instantly reaching for another sip. A fun, easy going with at home with brunch or by the pool (but please use plastic glasses ;) Just be careful because before you know it the bottle will be gone. On 2nd thought just buy a couple to begin with…

Rating: Buy It (and buy more than one! I’m at 6 and counting for the summer…)

2009 Trajarinho Vinho Verde

Price: $8.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Vinos Unico

What They Said:

2009 Trajarinho Vinho VerdePer K&L Wines “Classic, dry, fizzy Vinho Verde does not get much better than this! This is one of our favorites: crisp, citric, relatively low in alcohol and in a classically dry style. Don’t let the deliciousness fool you, though; this white offers up a whole lot more complexity than the humble price might suggest. More than likely, one could attribute this amazing quality to two factors: First, the rock solid reputation and focus on quality of the Adega Cooperativo Regional de Monçao; and second, their reliance on Trajadura and Alvarinho grapes, which deliver wine of greater complexity and texture than the Paderña grape so commonly grown in the rest of the Vinho Verde region.”

What I Think:

Vinho Verde and I have come a long way in the last two years. When I had my first bottle I was still pretty sure that Vinho Verde was a grape varietal. For those that may not know it is in fact a wine region nestled along the Douro river (map) near the Spanish border. Over the years I’ve appreciated and enjoyed a handful of these wines but attending the Port4lio Tasting back in May reopened my eyes to them. This is one of those I tried then and here were my notes; “An unoaked blend of 65% Alvarinho and 35% Trajadura this one clean and crisp with nice lemon flavors and a bit of spritziness on a very refreshing finish. At $9 everyone should have a bottle of this in their fridge”. So what happened when I spent a little more time with it?

More magic! Spritzy even on the pour. This one is potent & lively on the palate with creamy bubbles and a minerally finish with lingering lemon citrus notes. Crisp, tangy and refreshing. A steal of wine that is perfect for summer sipping. But that is not all folks. There is much more to this wine if you open your mind to it with an intriguing stony, mineral component. This wine is suited to pair with food and would be a perfect compliment for ceviche or a chilled seafood platter. I’ll second my recommendation from above that at $9 everyone should have a bottle (or 2) of this in their fridge.

I’ll have much more to come on Vinho Verde (attended a dinner this week where I tasted a bubbly, a ’98 and a red version) and the wines of Portugal (I grabbed 2 of each mentioned in the Portfolio Tasting post) over the summer. In the meantime give this one a try next time you’re spending a sunny afternoon on the patio. You can thank me later…

Rating: Buy It+

2005 Muralhas de Monaco Vinho Verde

Price: $12.99 @ Friend/Gift imported by Aidil Wines

What They Said:

Per everywine.uk “The cooperative Adega de Moncao started out in 1958 with 25 growers while today they have more than 1,600. An enjoyable white wine full of fruity peach and apricot aromas, it is well balanced, persistent, smooth with a dry flavour.”

What I Think:

After the champagne was finished we opened this bottle of Portuguese Vinho Verde that our friends had brought with them. At the time I had some misconceptions as to what Vinho Verde was all about. I had long wanted to try it but had always thought it was a lower end white offering which led me to believe I could find some values in this area. It is amazing how a quick trip to Wikipedia can clear up misconceptions, love that.

It is always interesting to drink a wine and then fill in the “they said” part afterwards. With my preconceptions of Vinho Verde fully in tact at the time of consumption it is interesting to see how this new knowledge compares to my tasting notes. Here they were brief as we had guests. This wine has a bouquet full of nectarines and like fruits. On the palate it was slightly champagne like with a light spritz and flavors of grapefruit leading to a dry finish. Definitely a young wine and it appears to be made to be consumed that way. Perhaps a little too much acid for me on the finish, but certainly a eye opening experience.

So now what I learned afterwards, first off Vinho Verde is not a grape, it is a wine growing area which translates to “green wine”. Not for the color but because they are meant to be consumed young, hey I got that part. This bottle was actually an albarino blend with trajadura. Wow, I never would have guessed! I had a great time getting to know this wine and will certainly be on the look out for more wines from this region next time I am in the store.

Rating: Wow!