Principal branco

Apolónia recently had a one-day sale for their anniversary and this wine, arguably one of the top Portuguese whites, was on special offer – reduced by 30% from €29.95 to €19.95 – so I decided to give it a try.

This is the 2010 Reserva, but it was the 2011 Reserva that was the overall winner at Portugal’s most important wine event, Essência do Vinho, last year.

I have yet to try the 2011, but this 2010 was very impressive. The wine is produced by Ideal Drinks, fruit of the huge investments made in Portuguese winemaking by Carlos Dias, the founder of the Swiss luxury watch brand Roger Dubuis who sold out to the Richemont Group some years ago. Other top wines produced by his company include the superb Alvarinho Quinta da Pedra.

Principal is a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the Bairrada region, a wine made for ageing and of great concentration. On the nose, there are floral and citric notes with hints of toast. In the mouth, the wine is full-bodied with a creamy texture and great acidity leading to a deeply flavoursome and lingering finish. It is well worth the discounted price I paid for it, and certainly not overpriced at the full price.

By Patrick Stuart
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