FORÇA PORTUGAL (7) – V.R. LISBOA ‘AZULEJO’
A little intermezzo between Vinho Verde and Douro… A pair of Vinho Regional Lisboa (regional wines from the Lisboa/Lisbon region) in white and red, in a Bordeaux type bottle with a picture of the well-known hand-painted ‘azulejo’ (blue) wall tiles. The two wines are sold in the Dutch PLUS supermarkets for a relatively low price: < € 4.50. Some of my (supermarket) wine guides writing colleagues have been quite enthusiastic about those wines; for me an extra reason to try the wines.
Vinho Regional Lisboa
The wine region Lisboa is located along the coast stroke north of the capital Lisboa (Lisbon). It is a green, hilly region with a soil of clay and limestone. The climate is perfect for viticulture: plenty of sun, but the temperature is moderated by the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. This gives elegant wines with a relatively low alcohol percentage (read: < 13% alc. /vol.).
Both wines are produced by Casa Santos Lima, a family owned company with some 289 ha vineyards on a very special type of soil: Jurassic limestone with a great touristic bonus, dinosaur’s bones! Don’t expect prehistoric wines, massive and rustic… Casa Santos Lima produces modern, elegant, fruity wines from traditional Portuguese grapes and a touch of French varieties!
AZULEJO BRANCO 2010 V.R. LISBOA: a blend of fernão pires, arinto and … sauvignon blanc. Modern vinification with total de-stemming, pressing and exclusive use of free run juice. Fermented under temperature control (16-18°C). Light citrus colour with some green reflections. Very fresh nose, delicate citrus and floral aromas. Fresh and fruity on the palate, lovely juicy, light and easy drinkable, not really complex but quite pleasant and well-balanced. Not bad at all, not really a great gastronomic wine, but a perfect wine for all summer activities, pick nick, terraces, parties, bar, … and all kind of informal summer events. Great strand wine thanks to its easy drinkability and relatively low alcohol percentage (12.5% alc. /vol.). Very good value for money.
AZULEJO TINTO 2009 V.R. LISBOA: they do it again, a blend of tinta barroca, tinta roriz and… pinot noir! Traditional vinification: pressing after total de-stemming, fermentation in epoxy lined cement vats and stainless steel tanks with programmed pumping over and temperature control (28-30°C). Maceration in contact with (submerged) cap for 28 days. Ageing in oak barrels for 3-4 months. Very attractive colour, deep but bright ruby. Full and appealing nose, lots of fruit, spices and aromatic herbs. Modernity meets tradition on the palate, nice juice, just enough freshness, not too dry, not too heavy, not too strong (13% alc. /vol.), with a ripe and pleasant finish. The oak tones could be a bit less ‘toasty’ for my personal taste, but it is quite OK. Of course not a ‘great’ wine, – who would expect it for this price? – but surely a nice all-rounder for simple (meat) dishes with ripe tones and some spiciness. Great value for money!