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(2013) Made by the traditional method, this is a white sparkling wine made from Touriga Nacional, so effectively a Blanc de Noir. Grapes are sourced from various regions in Portugal, and the wine was aged on the lees for 36 months before release. This pours with a very pale colour and good stream of moderately small bubbles. The nose is fresh, a touch nutty, a touch herby, with some apple fruit character. On the palate there is a sweetness to this. The mousse if fairly modest, giving a gentle rolling effervescence, and the wine has a clean apple and pear fruit quality, maybe just hinting at peachy softness, but then plenty of acidity adds a tiny but enjoyable bitter twist to the finish. A simple wine, but balanced and enjoyable.
(2000) The Dão actually has quite a tradition of producing quality sparkling wines by the Champagne method. I had tasted the 1994 vintage of this rosé and thought it fascinating but a bit oddly flavoured and not totally convincing. This was much better. It has a very delicate salmon-pink colour. The nose is pleasantly yeasty with aromas of caramel and toffee. The fruit has a baked quality, with syrupy raisins but also clean, soft strawberry. It is fruit-driven. On the palate the mousse is fresh and light and there is a bright fruit profile of strawberry and raspberry and refreshing pear and apple nuances. Quite long, there is good acidity and a little tannin. Both very good and extremely interesting in style - a good food wine too, even with quite robust dishes.
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