I’ve been lucky enough to make a living drinking and selling wines from around the world for 10 years now and have gleaned a little bit of knowledge about a lot of different wines. But I still have some blindspots and Portugal is one of them. I know about Port and Vinho Verde and . . . that’s it. It’s rare for me to come across wines from Portugal that focus on their unique grapes and terroirs. That’s why I get excited when I find wines like the ones from Aphros.
A young project (started in ’02) from an old family estate (dating back to the 17th century), Aphros is focused on the unique Portuguese varietals that farmers typically make for friends and family instead of export. Working organically, employing traditional methods (they still stomp the grapes by foot!) they make lovely wines loaded with character.
Aphros Vinhao $18
The Details: 100% Vinhao, the typical country red grape for the Vinho Verde region. From riverside vines, close to the Atlantic, where cooling breezes preserve the grape’s bright flavors and acidity.
The Notes: Beaujolais-like. Aromas of dried flowers and wild red berries. Flavors of smoky plum, sour cherry, and spicecake spiked with liqueur. Would pair wonderfully with simple roast chicken and veggies, sprinkled with fresh herbs and garlic. Or a slice of brie and dried sausage.