Dão DOC, Portugal
45% Malvasia Fina, 20% Encruzado, 20% Cerceal, 15% Bical; 13% ABV
bottled by Quinta dos Roques, Lda.; imported by Wineworth, LLC
$6 at the Berkeley, CA store on 12 Sept. Probably not available anywhere now.
Like the Refosco earlier, this wine was part of a one-off batch apparently only at the Berkeley store, and, also like the Refosco, completely unknown to me. (DLuber said the 2008 single-varietal Malvasia Fina white wine in that batch was a bit stale.) The Wikipedia article linked above notes: “Historically the white wines were known for being over oxidized and full bodied but more modern winemaking has been producing white wines that are fresh, fruity and fragrant.” This wine was a nice example of this newer style.
A pleasant nose of yellow apples and flowers came through on the palate, but was initially overwhelmed by a strong bitterness of grape skin and stem. However, after a couple hours of air in the fridge, the bitterness was nearly gone and what was left was quite lovely: sweet yellow apple and pear, non-perfumed white flowers and delicate minerality, balanced by a slight residual bitterness and lightly lemony acid. As a Californian unfamiliar with contemporary Portuguese wines, I could probably be fooled by someone telling me that this was a nice, aged, local Chardonnay. After a few sips, I’d think it’s an unusual Chardonnay, but it’s yummy enough I wouldn’t question it too much. 🙂
The next day, the rest of the bottle left in the fridge was still drinkable, but it was more heavy and bitter than on the first night.