It’s spring and asparagus time! What better occasion can one ask for when popping a citrusy Bucelas?
Consult the wine literature and you will find many saying it is almost impossible to find a wine matching the asparagus referring you to a dry Muscat a Petit Grains or a German Riesling maybe. But come on, it is not that tough to find a good match! Why not a floral, citrus scented and sun bathed Arinto from Bucelas?
No wonder wine people and its literature many times frightens people with its static view on combining wine and food – or simply just making it too difficult. Honestly, how many times haven’t you had a great glass of wine and a just as great meal where the combination between the two where never thought of before serving?
Bucelas doesn’t produce wines of world class, no, this is good and honest wines mainly drunk by the Lisboan’s since Bucelas is close to the Portuguese capital. They’re extremely popular at the many fish restaurants you will find in the city and many a bottles are imbibed during the summer time.
Quinta da Murta is recognized as one of the better from Bucelas and here Arinto is the main grape variety. The vineyards are located quite high up on the slopes and you can most surely speak of a micro climate. According to the owner of Quinta da Murta it can differ as much as 20 days when it comes to maturation of the Arinto – and the different parcels.
The grape is often harvested quite early since the producers strive after acidity in their Bucelas. The 2007 Quinta da Murta is a light yellow wine with fine mineral notes reminding me of wet rocks, a waxy note, nectarines and a slightly green note of lime to it.
I have followed almost a case of this wine starting last summer and there’s no question the taste is now finding its way home. The fruitiness is more restrained now, more spicy. Anjou pears, wax and delicate mineral scents accompany the melon taste which ends refreshingly and with a touch of citrus peel.
Not at all a wine of memorable proportions, just such a nice drink when analyzing a wine apart is not on the top of the list. And besides matching asparagus excellently it is also a most welcome feature on the shelves in wine shops outside of Portugal!
In Lisboa you will find the Quinta da Murta at around EUR 6. In UK and the US it will most likely be around EUR 8-10 which still makes it worth seeking for.
(2007 Quinta da Murta, Bucelas, 85 p)