Lasso Branco from Quinta do Pinto
Last Sunday I found myself in the newly-rebranded Auchan supermarket of the Aqua Portimão shopping centre. Not much has changed apart from the name (it used to be Jumbo) and I was pleased to see that they still have a very respectable (if not outstanding) wine selection. As an aside, they do have one of the best selection of gins I have seen anywhere in the Algarve.
Browsing the shelves of the wine section, I found this white blend from the Quinta do Pinto winery in the Lisbon region. I know this producer mostly for their whites under the main Quinta do Pinto label, such as their very good Viognier/Chardonnay blend and their unusual Marsanne/Roussanne.
The Lasso label is their entry level wine, priced a good few euros cheaper from the main label. The wine is probably not very popular with shoppers at this Auchan supermarket as the bottle I bought was from the 2015 vintage when the 2018 is already on the market. However, I was rewarded by a few years of bottle-ageing in the climate-controlled environment of the supermarket, even if the cork had dried out proving very difficult to remove.
But it was worth the effort. The wine is an un-oaked blend of the Portuguese varieties Arinto and Fernão Pires. Reading the information on the producers’ website, the colour when younger should be bright yellow with fresh floral and tropical fruit aromas. It was now more of a straw yellow colour but with lovely mature honeyed fruit notes on the nose and a creamy texture in the mouth with good acidity. This 2015 is in no doubt a very different wine to the current vintage, but for those of us who appreciate the complexity that can only come from a few years of bottle-ageing, this is something of a bargain at €6.69.
By Patrick Stuart