A great Douro white at a bargain price

The Apolónia Wine Festival is in full swing and whilst many readers, I am sure, will be bagging bargains on everyday wines, this event truly come into its own as an opportunity to try some of the top shelf stuff at affordable prices.

There are some real scoops in there – for instance, Quinta da Pedra Alvarinho 2011, a wine I wrote about last year and thought was worth every cent of its hefty price tag at around €29 and now has 50% off.

Discounts this big are few and far between but there are plenty of wines amongst the 2,000-odd labels available in the Lagoa and Almancil stores that are discounted by 30%, as is the case of this outstanding Douro white from Dona Berta.

This small family-owned Douro winery is a top quality producer making a selection of wines from traditional regional grape varieties, amongst them this Rabigato Garrafeira, made from selected old vine grapes. This wine is testament to the ageing potential of top class Douro whites.

The “Garrafeira” is only produced in exceptional years and this 2010 is notable for its great acidity. The wine is fermented in stainless steel on the lees with batonage and bottle-aged for a prolonged period before release.

Pale gold in colour, on the nose it is complex and mineral with notes of ripe apple and candied lemon. In the mouth there is solid structure and a creamy texture leading to a long and seductive finish. This really is a great Douro white, not to be missed at the bargain price of €16.99 during the wine festival.

By PATRICK STUART [email protected]