By Patrick Stuart [email protected]
One of Portugal’s largest wine producers, José Maria da Fonseca in Azeitão, near Setúbal, is better known for its cheap party pop rosé Lancers, and of course their excellent range of fortified Moscatel wines. But the portfolio also includes many high-quality table wines, such as this excellent and very unusual rosé. A pet project of the company’s main winemaker and vice-president, who represents the sixth generation of the family behind JMF, this is a varietal made from the rare purple muscat (moscatel roxo) grape, a small-yield variety usually used in premium fortified wines. The result is a rosé of singular style and quality. In colour, it looks like a good French rosé from Provence, and it is also similar in terms of mouth feel; clean, dry and fresh with good minerality, but on the nose there are exotic floral notes, quite unlike any other rosé I have tried.
Usually priced at over €10, this is expensive by Portuguese rosé standards, but worth every cent. Food-wise, it is actually quite a versatile wine, especially on hot summer days, but I enjoyed a few glasses last weekend with some rare seared tuna and would be pushed to find a better match.
Promotional price at Apolónia supermarket
(valid from June 27 to July 3)
Domingos Soares Franco Moscatel Roxo Rosé: €8.99 (retail price €9.95)