Top 10 Algarve wines

For the 10th anniversary of Inside Carvoeiro, Algarve-based wine writer, Patrick Stuart, shares his list of 10 favourite Algarve wines as prepared for the special 100th edition of our sister magazine Essential Algarve

A) Barranco Longo Blush Rosé

A difficult rosé to beat in the sub 10-euro price range, there are fresh and delicate red fruit notes on the nose and a slight creaminess in the mouth with good acidity with a dry yet fruity finish. A wine that looks and tastes like a Provence pink, but is actually 100% Portuguese, made from the indigenous Touriga Nacional variety right here in the Algarve. | www.quintadobarrancolongo.com

B) Cabrita Moscatel White

The Muscat (Moscatel) grape is mostly used in Portugal to produce fortified wines but there are a few exceptions, one of them being Cabrita here in the Algarve. On the nose there are floral and green fruit notes with great freshness in the mouth and just a touch of sweetness on the finish, pairs well with spicy Asian food. | josemanuelcabrita.wixsite.com/quintadavinha

C) Grace Vineyard White

The white wines of Quinta dos Vales are quite different from those of any other producer in the Algarve, or in the Alentejo for that matter. This producer has always had a strong focus on its whites, creating wines with a characteristic freshness and delicate structure. Top of the pile is this Grace Vineyard, the dominant grapes of which are Viognier and Arinto. | www.quintadosvales.eu

D) João Clara Negra Mole Red

Not easy to find but worth looking out for, this light bodied red made from the local Negra Mole variety will bring a smile to the face of any Pinot Noir lover. The winemaker, located in Alcantarilha, has nurtured this humble variety to give us a smooth and delightfully light wine in the Burgundy style, with typical leathery notes along with fresh berry fruits on the nose and a velvety smooth finish. | www.joaoclara.com

E) Monte do Além Petit Verdot Red

Monte do Além is a small Belgian-owned winery located near Odiáxere in the west Algarve, where a great deal of care goes into making wines as naturally as possible. This Petit Verdot varietal stands out as one of the best examples. On the nose, there are rich dark berry notes with very wellintegrated oak, firm and full bodied in the mouth, with present but nicely rounded tannins, and a very fresh finish. | www.monte-do-alem.com

F) Onda Nova Syrah Red

The Syrah grape is the foreign red variety to have had most success here in the Algarve and one of the first producers to make a varietal from the grape was Sir Cliff Richard’s Adega do Cantor (the winery of the singer). Many producers in the Algarve produce good quality Syrah but we singled this one as it represents very good value for money and is easy to find in the shops. | www.winesvidanova.com

G) Paxá Special Red

This premium label from Paxá near Silves is a big, bold and powerful red made from Syrah, Aragonês and Alicante Bouschet. Intense and jammy forest fruits on the nose with well-integrated oak. Rich and smooth in the mouth with a long finish this wine is an excellent companion to hearty winter dishes like a nice lamb stew. | www.paxawines.pt

H) Quinta do Francês Red

The winery produces various excellent wines and this main label blend made from of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Aragonês grapes is a full bodied and elegant wine with ripe dark and red fruit flavours. This producer allows the wines to mature in the bottle before releasing. | www.quintadofrances.com

I) Quinta dos Vales Dialog Red

The premium red wine from this multi-award-winning producer, Dialog 2011 (the vintage currently on the market) is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Petit Verdot. This is a wine of great structure with spicy and chocolate notes marrying with dark berry fruits on the nose. Full bodied with well-rounded tannins in the mouth, good  acidity and long dry finish. | www.quintadosvales.eu

Viognier (varietals) Whites | www.essential100.info

To single out any one producer of Viognier as a varietal would be very difficult. Much like Syrah, the Viognier grape has adapted extremely well to the Algarve and many of the region’s producers make excellent examples, amongst the Quinta dos Vales, Quinta do Francês and Adega do Cantor.

Author: nelson om

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