Adega de Colares ‘Arenae’ Malvasia de Colares, Lisbon, Portugal 2012
In the 19th Century, Colares was the only flourishing wine region of Portugal, as the country struggled with phylloxera. This is 100% Malvasia de Colares, grown near the sea in sandy soils like beach sand (the reason why the region survived phylloxera). The particular terroir makes this wine unique. Waxy nose, spicy and fresh with a long finish. Great with salted cod dishes, and skate wing with seaweed butter.
£15.33, Clark Foyster, 020 8819 1458
Casa de Saima ‘Tonel 10 Baga’ 2013, Bairrada, Portugal
Baga has always produced full-bodied wines that need quite a bit of ageing before drinking, but this is the opposite. Made using traditional lagares, it’s aged in a large wooden vat called ‘Tonel 10’. Lighter than traditional Baga wines, it still presents structure, ripe tannins and fruit but also freshness and complexity. Great with Alentejana pork and grilled meat.
£16.90, Raymond Reynolds, 01663 742230
Churchill’s Estates White 2015, Douro Valley, Portugal
This wine has been one of my biggest surprises this year. Produced from grapes only from Douro Superior, the blend of Rabigato and Viosinho makes for a white wine that is both full-bodied but also fresh and fragrant with hints of lemon and orange blossom. Works well with dishes like garlic prawns or grilled chicken wings.
£8.97, New Generation McKinley, 020 7928 7300
Herdade Do Rocim ‘Amphora’ 2015, Alentejo, Portugal
This wine got my attention a few years back when I travelled to visit the Herdade do Rocim. A lot of producers use amphorae nowadays, but few are able to produce a wine that is clean and with a clear direction. Made of Aragonez, Tricadeira, Moreto and Tinta Grossa, this wine goes through the traditional vinification and ageing process in amphora, with only bottle ageing afterwards. Dry, medium-bodied with ripe tannins and red berries on the nose and palate. Great with grilled fish and suckling pig.
£12.25, Portal Wine and Spirits, 020 7117 2682