New from Portugal
2015 Valle de Passos Branco White...$16.99
Fresh and delicate. This rare bird from the Tras os Montes region is all flowers with a surprising kick of acidity. A blend of white Port grapes, the Colheita sees absolutely no oak (10 months in stainless steel), and tastes like the rugged, yet beautiful, terroir around it. A little wild, but with impressive persistence.
GRAPES: Viosinho, Codega de Larinho, Malvasia
2015 Valle de Passos Tinto Red....$16.99
Laden with sweet dark wild blackberries, this entry level of the house is nothing but. Crazy flavors of licorice & rose (mostly due to the Touriga Franca) pairs so perfectly with all that fruit. Uber fresh tannins dissolve quickly leaving behind lighter (yet broody) notes.
12 months in stainless steel suits this Trasmontano quite well.
Grapes: Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Touriga Nacional
In the remote north east of Portugal, cut off from the coast by a series of mountain ranges, Trás-os-Montes is wild, high country, its soils poor and unproductive, mostly granitic with the odd patch of schist. The extreme continental climate brings long, hot summers followed by long, icy winters.
A region recognized as being the world's leading site for Ancient Roman lagars, Tras-os-Montes has remained somewhat a forgotten and lost region. With a dwindling young population, poor roads and long distances, the Transmontanos have always reverted to the richness of their land, becoming masters in the production of olive oil, wine, fruits, nuts etc.
With higher altitudes and extreme climates, the Tras-os-Montes wine region is producing some of Portugal's most interesting and wild wines, with a focus on indigenous grape varieties and sustainable agriculture.