I ask the question – “could this be Portugal’s best Sauvignon Blanc?” – as it really all depends on what style of this most popular white varietal we are talking about.
For me, they fall into two categories: the old-world French style typified by the likes of Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, then the new-world style where perhaps the best come from New Zealand’s South Island.
This wine, from Casal de Santa Maria in the Sintra foothills, falls clearly into the latter category and, in fact, reminds me of Cloudy Bay, one of the most famous NZ Sauvignon Blancs out there, costing a good €10 a bottle more than this one from Portugal.
The Casal de Santa Maria winery is part of the Colares/Lisbon sub-region and is well known for the quality of its varietals. They also produce excellent Chardonnay as well as one of my favourite Portuguese Pinot Noirs, amongst others.
This Sauvignon Blanc, €14.95 at Apolónia, displays the typical notes of gooseberries, melon and green grass on the nose but is not overly exuberant. This is a classy white wine, elegant and well-structured with a lovely silky texture in the mouth. Well worth the money.