Esporão

Esporao of PortugalWe tasted Esporão Reserva Red 2021 and Reserva White 2022 from Portugal for the first time, but it won’t be our last. Herdade do Esporão is Alentejo’s largest wine producer, and one of the biggest in Portugal. These wines are reasonably priced and widely distributed in the U.S. They are classics from a wine region known for its blends that are passed down and improved upon by generations of winemakers. Read on for notes on the two wines, and the Esporão story.

Esporão Story

The historic Herdade do Esporão estate is one of Portugal’s largest wine companies. The Roquette family owns Esporão, the biggest family-owned winery and vineyard in the Alentejo region. In addition, the estate includes vineyards in the Douro and Vinho Verde. And the history! Its boundaries have not changed since 1267.

However, in the past 30 years, Herdade do Esporão revitalized Alentejo’s wine industry, as a pioneer of sustainable agriculture. It also helped the wine region to open doors to overseas markets. Today, Esporão is widely distributed to 50 countries, including the U.S.

Specifically, the portfolio here comprises about 25 reds, whites, rosés and port. Prices range from $10 to $300 a bottle, pleasing both the occasional drinker and the wine geeks.

In 1997, Herdade do Esporão was the first winery in Alentejo to welcome visitors. These days, the estate is on the World Wine Route. More than 20,000 wine lovers visit each year. They also enjoy Esporão’s wine bar and green-star Michelin restaurant.

Subsequently, as of 2019, all 1,317 acres of the Herdade do Esporão estate are certified organic, one of the biggest organic wineries in the world.

Instead of chemicals and pesticides, the bats, birds, and flocks of sheep, with help from some smart sheepdogs, take care of much of the vineyard health and maintenance.

The Roquette family’s first wine is Esporão Reserva, produced in 1985. In recent years, there has been a move to dial back the oak, as well as focus on the area’s traditional style of blending grape varieties versus vinifying single variety wines.

Reserva White 2022 ($23)

Esporão Reserva White 2022Esporão Reserva White 2022 features an elegant, rich and substantial mouthfeel – so substantial, you could drink it without food, as an apéritif or on the deck on a warm summer afternoon or evening. Or serve it with  seafood, grilled fresh fish or chicken. This unique white wine blends indigenous grapes Antao Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro. Aromas of lemons, oranges and white peach lead into full-bodied flavors of yellow fruit, quince and spices. We loved it.

Reserva Red 2021 ($23)

Reserva Red 2021Esporão Reserva Red 2021 is a distinct Portuguese blend of native, organic grapes Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Trincadeira along with Cabernet Sauvignon. Reserva Red 2021 is described as “fruits of the forest” because wild fruit and sweet spices dominate. On the nose, we found aromas of blackberries and plums, with hints of cocoa, cassis and barrel spices. On the dense palate, more dark fruit, dark chocolate, licorice and spicy notes. This is a great time to savor this bold red with roast beef, grilled meats or a juicy burger.

Summary: Esporão

In conclusion, Esporão is Alentejo’s largest wine producer, owned by the Roquette family, and widely distributed in the U.S.  We are very happy to hear this, as we plan to buy some bottles to enjoy this spring and summer.

Creative Palate Communications, thanks for the delicious samples.

Meanwhile, find us on Instagram and Facebook. And of course, here, at Write for Wine – It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere.

Cheers!
Margot and Dave

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