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Portugal is best known for its fortified wines Madeira and Port. But there are also some outstanding examples of still wines, mostly from the north of the country where conditions are not as hot. The appellations are classified as D.O.C., Denominacao de Origem Controlada.

Many factors contributed to what has become the modern Portuguese winemaking industry, such as the boom in Port shipping, the effects of the 19th century Phylloxera and oidium crisis and subsequent vine replantings and the rise of estates (quintas), not to mention joining the European Union in 1986.

The main still wine producing regions are the Douro, Dao, Bairrada, Vinho Verde, Terras do Sado and Alentejo. Much of the wine is produced with indigenous grape varietials, often with many in the blend, that give it distinct and delicious character. These include for whites: Loureiro, Arinto, Malvasia Fina and Alvarinho. For reds: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Aragones), Baga, Castelao and Trincadeira. Some producers have had luck with foreign varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Paulo Laureano

Vinhlebresas das Lebres 2012

Producer: Paulo Laureano
Appellation: Alentejo
Varietals: Aragones (Tinto Roriz/Tempranillo), Trincadeira, Alforcheiro
Paulo Laureano is one of the most renowned Portuguese winemakers and a reference in the Alentejo wines. Agronomist, enologist who travels between Portugal, Australia and Spain. After teaching at the University of Évora for 10 years, he decided to dedicate himself to winemaking. His company was created with family in 1999. Paulo Laureano is defined as a minimalist winemaker. His wines reflect his passion.
Alentejo is one of Europe’s regions more environmentally well preserved and is one of the most important wine producing areas in Portugal. A warm climate, low rainfall, poor soils and excellent exhibitions allow exceptional quality sites for the production of mature aromas of wines and silky textures.
Tasting Note: “Full and round with characteristics of blackberries and currants with spicy undertones.”

PLCB #: 554348

Price: $11.99

Villa Nova de Gaia

850

850

Variety: Tempranillo, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela
Vintage: 2013
Producer: Vila Nova de Gaia
Appellation: Oporto, Douro VR, Portugal

Vitification: Grown along the Douro River in Oporto on rocky, very hard slate.

Vinification: Stainless steel fermentation. Aged for 1 year in neutral oak.

Dry red wine from the estate that provides grapes for Graham’s Port.
**Tasting Note: Bright cherry and dark berries shine through the nose with hints of violet and spice. Flavors of cocoa and raisins are present on the palate with good structure and balance**

PLCB #: 553876

Price: $8.99

Aviva Vino

AV Alvarinho 2013

Winery: Quinta da Lixa for Aviva Vino
D.O.: Vinho Regional Minho
Wine Type: White wine
Varieties: 100% Albarinho
Ageing: N/A
Alcohol: 12.5%

PLCB #: 566866

Price: $16.99

Climate and terrain

The region’s climate is greatly influenced by the orographic characteristics and the fluvial network.
The most significant feature is the yearly rain levels – an average of 1500 mm – and its irregular distribution
along the year, concentrated in Winter and Spring. On the other hand, the air temperature
along the year develops similarly with the precipitation. The higher temperatures occur at the same
time as the lowest precipitation – hot and dry end of Spring and Summer – and the lower temperatures
with the highest precipitation – cold and rainy Winters. In what concerns the annual average
temperature, the average of high temperatures and the average of low temperatures is not too
high, reflecting a mild climate. Regarding the terrain, the region has a rather irregular topography,
characterized by a compact valley’s system combined with the fluvial network, developing from the
seaside to the inland.

Geology and soils

Most of the region lays on a granitic structure, with the exception of two narrow strips that cross it
from NW-SE, one of Silurian with carboniferous and gravestone structures and another one of archaic
shiest. The soil’s main origin is the granite disaggregation. Generally, it is characterized by its low
depth, predominantly sandy to Franco-sandy (superficial) textures, a natural high acidity and poor in
phosphorus. The fertility levels are naturally low, as one may easily conclude from the characteristics
already mentioned. However and due to the nature of the agrarian systems used in the region since
the old times, the soils gained a considerable fertility that allowed supporting one of the highest population
densities in the country. The secret for this fertility may be attributed to the two main types of
human intervention in the natural conditions: the control of the terrain, through the construction of
terraces and the intensive and persistent penetration of organic substances.

Terroir

All of those characteristics combined give us wines with a very good natural acidity, wines with moderated
level of alcohol, a lot of minerality specially for the granitic soils and the Atlantic influence in a
perfect combination with our autochthones grape varieties

AV Vinho Verde

Winery: Quinta da Lixa for Aviva Vino
D.O.: Vinho Verde
Wine Type: White wine
Varieties: 100% Loureiro
Ageing: N/A
Alcohol: 11%

PLCB #: 556960

Price: $10.99

 

Winemaking Process

This wine is produced in our winery with carefully selected grapes from the best vineyards of the Vinhos
Verdes. The grapes are pressed at low temperatures and the must is then clarified and fermented
at controlled temperatures. Before bottling, the wine is filtered and cold stabilized.Stainless steel fermented.

Tasting Notes

Vinho Verde, lighter and more refreshing, is gaining in popularity all over the world; the Loureiro variety
is the aromatic backbone of this wine. It has floral notes, hints of mint and laurel. It is a very graceful
variety, and the wine develops a honeyed elegance on the palate, well suited to it having a slight
touch of sparkle.

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