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Three recent releases from Herdade de Esporão


Herdade de Esporão is an old estate dating back to the 13th century.  Incredibly, both the estate boundaries and the original 15th century tower have survived. In recent history wine has been produced since the 1970s.  Today there are some 450 hectares of vineyards planted with nearly 200 different varieties of vines.  Some three dozen of these varieties are used to produce the majority of the wines.  These wines are made in two separate wineries one dedicated to red wine and the other to white wine.  David Baverstock oversees all of the winemaking but Luis Patrão specializes in the red wines and Sandra Alves specializes in the whites.

My previous experience is primarily limited to the Monte Velho wines so it was a surprise to taste the 2013 Herdade de Esporão, Verdelho, Alentejano.  The tension in the mouth made the wine interesting, offered good flavors for the price, and it held up well over several days.  You could drink a glass with each meal over the course of a work week.  The 2013 Herdade de Esporão, White Reserva, Reguengos changes tack by blending three Portuguese white varieties with Semillon.  It is more exotic right now with creamy flavors and minerals.  Personally, I would drink this in the new year to let it loosen up.  Finally, the 2011 Herdade de Esporão, Red Reserva, Reguengos started off quite tannic but fully fleshed out within an hour of breathing to provide attractive drinking.  The oak needs time to integrate further but the ripe black fruit and juicy acidity will see it through.  I recommend you try whichever wine matches your taste.  These samples were arranged by Cornerstone Communications, Ltd.

Esporao1

2013 Herdade de Esporão, Verdelho, Alentejano – $13
Imported by Aidil Wines and Liquors.  This wine is 100% Verdelho sourced from 10 year old vines on soils of granite, schist base with clay, and loam soils.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a very light straw tinged with green.  There was a tense start to this wine with chalky notes and acidity driven white fruit.  With air the core of fruit persisted showing a tart lemon hint, texture, and a white citric aftertaste.  Well done.  ** Now-2016.

Esporao2

2013 Herdade de Esporão, White Reserva, Reguengos – $20
Imported by Aidil Wines and Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 30% Antao Vaz, 30% Arinto, 30% Roupeiro, and 10% Semillon sourced from 18 year old vines on soils of granite and schist.  It was fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel tanks and new French and American oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light straw gold.  In the mouth that wine began with white fruit flavors and some tropical notes.  The flavors became creamy with notes of chalk in the middle, integrated acidity, and tart hints in the finish.  A tight core of ripe flavors suggests this will develop over the short term. **(*) Now-2017.

Esporao3

2011 Herdade de Esporão, Red Reserva, Reguengos – $23
Imported by Aidil Wines and Liquors.  This wine is a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Alicante Bouschet that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 12 months in a combination of American and French oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was subtle with aromas of dark fruit and a hint of roast.  The wine started off quite tannic but quickly fleshed out to provide ripe, minerally black fruit.  There were tart black fruit with, perhaps, a hint of tar before the very minerally finish.  The flavors were supported by juicy acidity throughout and left ripe, baking spiced and chewy tannins on the gums.  *** Now – 2020.

Esporao4

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