If anyone thinks that Portuguese white wines start and finish with Vinho Verde, they’ve got a treat in store. Portugal is terribly underrated as a white wine producer. These two are from The Wine Society, but they’re not the only good ones they have – nor the only good Portuguese whites out there. The Sauvignon is a new one from the south west and gives the Loire a run for its money. All we need now is some good weather.
2010 Herdade do Esporão, Verdelho, Alentejo, Portugal
Very floral and perfumy but also smoky; ripe and fairly full-bodied, with an exotic smokiness, lime-cordial intensity and satisfying, refreshing acidity. Delicious. Made down in the south from estate-grown, unoaked-verdelho by Sandra Alves, under the eye of David Baverstock. 13.5% abv.
£8.50, The Wine Society
2010 Dão Sul, Cabriz, Dão, Portugal
Sweet citrus, spice and herbs on the nose and mouthwatering, stony-mineral, smoky, herbal flavours with tangy acidity. Medium-bodied. Very restorative. A blend of malvasia fina, encruzado, cerceal branco and bical (just as you thought). 12.5% abv.
£6.95, The Wine Society
2010 Sensas Sauvignon Blanc, Côtes de Gascogne, France
Really aromatic sauvignon from the Gers – all gooseberry, grassy, herbal aromas with vivid gooseberry fruit on the palate, a nicely chalky texture and a zesty finish. It’s an Alain Grignon wine made by Xavier Roger, a native of the Loire, a region where they know a thing or two about sauvignon. 12.5% abv.