Nortico Alvarinho$15 and under
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Creamy citrus oil, lime and yellow apple notes are nicely spiced and detailed with saline mineral and floral underpinnings through the long finish. — Gillian Sciaretta
Ask anyone for the best Alvarinho in Portugal and people will point to the northwestern villages of Moncao and Melgaco, just on the border with Spain. Nortico Alvarinho is a superb example of the grape's hallmark traits: fresh citrus, peach and tropical aromas paired with clean, juicy fruit and vibrant minerality. Here, on the south bank of the Minho River, farming is as it was centuries ago, with the grapes planted on granite pergolas in plots so small they are called “jardins”--or “gardens” in Portuguese. This humble yet serious wine showcases the best of northern Portugal’s commitment to artisan production in all things. In the words of Rui Abecassis, founder of Obrigado, “Nortico Alvarinho is one of those projects that has been in the making for quite some time. It started in my family's small tile atelier, where I learned to love tiles. The traditional ceramic tile atelier was more a labor of passion and tenacity than business … [and] to this day, tiles are produced exactly like in the 18th century, each shaped from scratch and painted by hand. Walking the streets of Oporto or Lisboa you may encounter tiles on both modest and important buildings. Tiles are a durable building material, and an early form of storytelling and graphic design. We wanted the Nortico label to evoke those tiles to capture that spirit and Portuguese aesthetics.”click here for more information.