I have not had a lot of wine from Portugal. In fact, I think I've only reviewed two Portuguese wines here and one of them was a Port. (The other was a red blend.) And I know that Portugal has a thriving wine industry, but I just don't run across their wines all that often. So when I saw a bottle of JM Fonseca's Twin Vines (2012, 10%, Vinho Verde, Portugal) and realized it was from Portugal, I decided to give it a sip.
This particular Twin Vines is a Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde isn't a varietal of wine, it's a blend and also a DOC region, which is simply a wine/area that is controlled by a wine commission. It's located in northwest Portugal. To explain Vinho Verde, I'm going to quote from the Twin Vines website, because they do it so well: "Vinho Verde is made from one or a combination of twenty five different white grapes. The best and most popular varieties are Alvarinho, Trajadura, Louriro and Pederña....The name Vinho Verde, or "green wine," refers to the youthful style of this refreshing white wine, not the color! Coincidentally, this "green wine" hails from the Minho region, among the greenest and most lush landscapes in all of Portugal. See, I told you they did it well..better than I could have.
I did notice that this wine had an ABV of 10%, which puts it on the sweeter side of the vine. I don't dislike sweet wines, but I am not always in the mood for them. But I really wanted to try a wine from Portugal, so I went ahead and bought it.
The first thing you'll notice about this wine is that it has almost no color at all. But it does have bubbles. Lots of teeny tiny bubbles.
The second thing you'll notice about Twin Vines is the bouquet of honeysuckle, lime and citrus. Oh did it smell good! The taste did not disappoint either, as sometimes happens with a very fragrant wine. I tasted lots of tart citrus and lemongrass all mixed in with a line of sharp minerals. The bubbles added nicely to the wine, making it lively and tart in my mouth.
This was so much more crisp and tart than I had expected! I wrote down that this was the perfect "light, zesty summer wine." And since it's priced at below $10 a bottle (I paid $8!), I'm going to suggest you have a party just so you can buy a lot of it. It would be perfect for a patio supper! And it would please those who like a sweeter wine and those who like a crisp, citrusy wine. That's not an easy pair of pleasings to carry off, either. And you also have the bubble effect, which is just plain fun.
Buy this wine if you like a light, lively, not too sweet, not too dry white wine.
You do need to serve this very cold. My wine refrigerator only goes to a certain temp, and I found that a few minutes in the freezer really did justice to this wine.