When it comes to the great wines in Europe, most collectors and newer wine investors tend to automatically think about France or Italy. Or maybe they think about some of the best Spanish wines. Those same investors or collectors rarely think of Portugal as being among the top wines in the world. And even if most people think of Portuguese wines, they usually think of Vintage Port or maybe Vinho Verde.
It is time for wine collectors and even wine investors to think more of Portugal.
The nation on the edge of Europe has many great wines that are there for enjoyment. Some of these wines are ready to drink now, and some can age for many years into the future.
Wine & Spirits Magazine has released its 2021 list of Top 100 Wineries. The group is to be showcased in the 35th Annual Buying Guide, which will be published on October 12, 2021. Wine & Spirits tastes thousands of wines in an exclusive blind tasting process to make this list. The editors use those tastings to select their Top 100 Wineries of the year.
Wines are tasted from all over the world to create their remarkable portfolio of wines. According to their press release, a selection of the Top 100 Wineries is set to be showcased at METRON in San Francisco at the 18th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event October 14, 2021).
Portugal is frequently passed over on top wineries in many U.S. reviews and tastings. After all, if you go to any liquor store with a decent selection of wines you will be lucky to find more than 5 bottles of Portuguese wine outside of Vintage Ports.
One issue that has plagued Portugal’s wine on the international scene is that most oenophiles have become addicted to vast selections from France, Italy, and California. Many other nations and states make great wines. Of the 2021 Top 100 Wineries, Wine & Spirits Magazine selected 20 from France, 13 from Italy, and 35 U.S. wineries that were dominated by the wines from the West Coast.
There were 4 Portuguese wineries that made the Top 100 List for 2021. While this is still dominates for great Port/Madeira wines, Portugal is stretching beyond that stereotype.
Blandy’s – established in 1811
Blandy’s dates back to 1811 and has been family owned for 7 generations. It is known for Madeira wines and the group notes that younger Madeiras (along with the 5, 10 and 15 year wines) are each bottled when ready for drinking. While they will not improve with additional ageing, these wines are represented as remaining in perfect condition for considerable periods (many years) if left unopened.
A case of 1977 Blandy’s Malmsey Vintage Madeira was shown to cost $301.00 at Vinfolio. A bottle’s average cost of a Blandy’s 50 Year Old Malmsey (sold out at the winery itself) was shown by Wine-Searcher to average $255 per 750 ml bottle.
Dow’s – established in 1798
Dow’s Vintage Ports are quite well known and should be easy to recognize by anyone who has shopped for Port wine. The company has introduced its launch of 2018 Vintage Ports and it selected two to release first – Quinta do Vesuvio and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira. The Dow site said:
The other Quinta Vintage Ports produced in 2018 – Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos, Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim, Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha and Cockburn’s Quinta dos Canais – will age in our cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for future release. The website Wine-Searcher.com showed 2018 case of 3 bottles for sale for $174.40 from the U.K.
Anselmo Mendes – producing since 1998
Anselmo Mendes is one of the top winemakers from the Vinho Verde region in the north of Portugal and the wine production only began in 1998. This breaks the historic generalization that the great wines from Portugal have to be Vintage Port wines. Anselmo Mendes produces many of the green wines that Portugal is well known for, or Vinho Verdes. It also has a red Douro Não Convencional, and two red Dao wines, a white Anselmo Mendes Beira Interior and also two DOC Biscoitos.
According to DirectWineShipments.com, a bottle of the vinho verde will cost roughly $15 to $22.50 before duties and shipping.
Quinta do Vallado – established 1716
For a Duoro winery, the Quinta do Vallado group makes Port wine but also makes reds (11), whites (4) and rose (1). It also makes 10 different Port wines. The group shows to have been winemaking for 300 years (1716) and is one of the oldest and most famous estates in the Douro Valley. Some of its wines have also been featured with high marks in Wine Enthusiast and in the Decanter magazine.
The website PortugalVineyards.com sells a bottle of Quinta do Vallado 30 years Port for $63.13 before other charges, and there are many bottles ranging from $10 to $150. The website Wine-Searcher.com shows a Quinta do Vallado ‘ABF’ Very Old Port 1888, Porto, Duriense, Portugal (decanter) for $4,166.38 and the even older Vallado Tributa Very Old Port (1866) was not found on the traditional sites for purchase.
*** Wine prices mentioned may change and are subject to tax, duties and shipping charges.
Along with not being thought of as the greatest tasting wines, Portugal is not known outside of Vintage Port for having the world’s most expensive wines. Vinovest, the website for investing in wine, has its list of the world’s 20 Most Expensive Wines (for 2021) and Portugal is only noted with the Port.
Categories: Wine & Whiskey