Wandering aimlessly around the wine section at New Seasons a couple weeks ago I came across this next summer value wine. Some days I'm really indecisive about what I want to buy (it's a Libra thing), so I usually end up asking the wine steward for their current favorites. I told this particular wine steward about my summer mission, so she recommended a few of her favorites that I took home to test out. Today I popped open one of her recommended summer wines… the 2008 Casa Santos Lima, Portuga, Vinho Branco, Estramadura, from Portugal. Portuguese wines are often excellent value wines so I was very curious about this choice.
Casa Santos Lima is located in Alenquer, approximately 45 kms north of Lisbon, in a “very traditional wine region and where the typical Portuguese rural landscape appears in all its glory” (per their website). The winery produces a number of what they call “excellent quality/price ratio” wines, among them is the Portuga at $7.99 (New Seasons pricing).
Today’s occasion, waiting for the smoker to cook up ribs for a Father's Day Feast!!! Patience, patience my friends is what it takes to smoke food… but I needed something to occupy my time while waiting for the ribs to do their 5 hour thing! In terms of weather and ambiance, today's weather is very bizarre, stormy at times, then sunny… I wish it was just sunny and hot, then this wine may have left a different impression… at any rate here goes:
Wine #4 in my quest for the perfect summer wines
2008 Casa Santos Lima, Portuga, Vinho Branco (aka white wine), Estramadura, Portugal
My first impression was that the wine was somewhat soapy and chemically on the nose. When I detected this I used an old trick taught to me at the winery I used to work at. If you ever have a white wine that smells “off” (could be for a variety of reasons) try this: put the cork back in the bottle and give the wine a quick shake (I’m not kidding), then uncork it, let the fizz subside, then re-pour into your glass (Not for older wines BTW, this trick for the younger ones). If the “off” smell does not goes away then it may be flawed. This time, then soapy smell went away (phew). This is basically a quick way of letting a wine “breathe”.
The nose still didn’t impress me too much but it did have some nice fresh citrus, lemon, pineapple, and crisp pear. The mouth was very acidic with more citrus notes. The fruit flavors seemed somewhat diluted and the wine had little complexity to it… but hey it was $7.99!
Would I buy it again? Sure! I probably won’t go racing out to buy mass quantities of it, but if I see it on the shelf somewhere I’d definitely give it another whirl.
Winery: Casa Santos, Portugal
Grapes: Arinto 30%, Fernão Pires 40%, Vital 30%
Alcohol: 12.5 % vol.
As seen locally in New Seasons Concordia
Occasions for drinking this wine: Picnic, warm weekday evening, any occasion where you just want to sip on something bright and crisp without thinking too much about it or the price associated with it.