Maria de Lourdes – A premium white from Douro

There are some good bargains to be had at Apolónia Supermarket’s Stock-off sale that runs until the end of this month, and a few of them are to be found in the wine section.

Usually priced just under €20, I found this Maria de Lourdes from one of my favourite Douro producers CARM, with 25% off at €14.95.

Even at this price, this is a considerable amount of money to pay for a Portuguese white but much like the other wines produced by CARM, this is a wine that offers great value for money, even at the full non-discounted price.

Located in the upper reaches of the Douro, close to the Spanish border, CARM launched the Maria de Lourdes label a few years ago in homage to the mother of the current winemaker Filipe Roboredo Madeira.

Both the red and white are positioned immediately below the producer’s top wines but even so are clearly a premium product.

This 2011 white, made mostly from the traditional Douro white grapes Códega do Larinho, Rabigato and Viosinho, is a wine of quite some structure, fermented on the lees with batonnage and aged only partially in French oak.

Pale golden yellow in colour with just a hint of oak on the nose, citric notes come to the front followed by a full flavour with solid acidity and a good long finish. The wine compares favourably with more expensive Douro whites on the market, priced at €30 or more, making this an affordable treat for any wine lover wishing to discover what a top class Douro white is all about.

By PATRICK STUART [email protected]