You’ve gotten to meet quite a few of Esporão’s wines on these virtual pages (well, as close to meeting them as you can get without actually being able to reach into your screen and drink them… but if we can get over that technological hurdle anytime soon, trust us, you will be the first to know!).
We’ve covered the pot-roast-ready Monte Velho Red, the tangy, complex Assobio and succulent Tawny port of Quinta dos Murças, Esporão flagship Reserva line white and red blends (with recipes… neither of which can be tasted through your screen, either… sorry!), and most recently some of the latest single varietal and Duas Castas white wine releases.
But what we haven’t talked about are two of Esporão’s other wine brands – Defesa and Alandra. And we haven’t yet talked about the more delicate side of Esporão’s lineup,which have arrived in the U.S. just in time for warmer weather and are practically screaming for a place inside your Spring picnic cooler: Rosés. So now that the new Defesa and Alandra rosés are hitting the store shelves in the U.S., we can kill two red-breasted-robin Springtime birds with one stone here!
Sure, it can seem cliché to talk about pink wines for Springtime… but you know what they say: some clichés are cliché because they’re true. But as is par for the course in the exciting world of Portuguese winemaking, you’re likely to find the grapes involved in these rosés as anything but cliché.
And you’ll want to know about these wines anyway, because based on how quickly their inventory is moving, your friends might already be drinking them!
The 2011 Defesa rosé hails from Alentejo, and is made up of a blend of Syrah – which is quite often made into fine rosés – and Aragonês, otherwise known as Tempranillo, which is a lot more famous for making bold, earthy, spicy red wine in places like Rioja than it is for making pink wines. The Defesa sports a color livelier than any pink-dyed egg that the Easter Bunny could ever bring around, which turns out to be a strong indicator of how this wine tastes: it’s got aromas of red cherries and fresh strawberry to spare. If you’re into Springtime gardening, then you’ll be even happier with this rosé’s aromatic complexity, because it’s all flowers and mint that peek out as the wine warms up slightly in the glass.
Once it’s in your mouth, you’ll get cherry and spicy blackberry flavors from the Defesa rosé that are lively with a sense of elegance and fullness, kind of like one of those Beethoven scherzos that got criticized as too racy when he wrote them but turned out to be totally brilliant. It’s a good match for Asian food, sausages, or a really, really good, upscale ham sandwiches (if you’re getting hungry, our apologies – hey, at least the Beethoven part you can experience through your computer!).
If you’re hankering for an afternoon picnic or BBQ to take advantage of the Springtime warmth, Esporã’s everyday, accessible Alandra rosé is thoroughly “cooler-ready.” Bursting with raspberry and strawberry flavors, it’s got a slightly lighter style than its big sister Defesa but packs some similar minty notes, and the current release offers a lot more vibrant fruit and complexity than you’d reasonably expect from a wine in this price point, pink or not.
And now that we’ve pretty much exhausted how close we can get you to these new fun-loving rosés through a screen, it’s probably time for you to find a real bottle of the stuff and grab that picnic basket…