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Bucelas is a region 20 km to the north of Lisbon that boast some pretty amazing heritage. Wine, probably fortified, from a village here was mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry 11, Part 2 and the still wines were popularised in the UK in the early 19th century when the Duke of Wellington brought some back from the Peninsular Wars, very possibly from this estate, which dates back to 1703 and is the area’s most prestigious. Celebrity Victorian fans included Dickens and Lord Byron, so if you drink this you are in good company. The estate has been owned by Sogrape since 2018 and they bring unrivalled technical expertise and resources and the wines are better than ever.
Portuguese wines in general and the whites especially deserve to be better known and are undervalued. They have an amazing array of high-quality local varieties including Arinto. It’s a variety that always manages to have a fresh citrus streak and in the right terroir, as here, an attractive chalky minerality. The grapes are destemmed and given a short cold pre fermentation maceration to extract aromas and then fermented at cool temperatures to preserve those aromas and aged on lees afterwards to add an extra dimension. The result is a delightful white with aromas of stone fruit and white flowers with a lightly chalky palate with a lemon zest finish.