Wine of the week: Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho Branco 2019

Monte Velho BrancoThe Monte Velho Branco is another Portuguese white blend that does $10 wine proud

Portuguese wine has been one of the great cheap wine surprises of the past several years. Quality – and availability – has continued to improve, but prices have remained around $10. Maybe the Portuguese know something the rest of the world doesn’t?

Consider the Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho Branco 2019 ($10, purchased, 14%). Like the Alandra Branco, a white from the same producer and a long-time blog favorite, the Monte Velho is modern in style but Portuguese in temperament. That means traditional grapes (no chardonnay!) that most of us have never heard of, including antao vaz, perrum, and roupeiro. The first is common in the Alentejo region, and gives the wine its distinctive stone fruit flavors.

Look for almost floral aromas and a little spice and brightness to offset the stone fruits. This is not a complicated wine, but it’s hardly simple, either. Pair it with it grilled vegetables or chickpea and sausage stew. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2022 $10 Hall of Fame.

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