Gems from the Azores Islands

2018 Azores Wine Company, Arinto dos Açores Non Sur Lies (RT94+) This super nonchalant, esoteric wine is grown a mere 50 meters from the Atlantic ocean and produced in microscopic quantities with a mere 250 six packs bottled. The soils are 100% black basalt, grown in miniscule bush vine plots of 2-6 vines per square. The grape – Arinto dos Açores – is indigenous to the Azores Islands and is not related to the mainland variety of the same name. This gorgeous authentic white reveals a magnificent bouquet with layers of honey suckle, white flowers, minerals, lemon peel and honeydew, interwoven with layers of misty smoke. With time in the glass the mineral character builds momentum punctuated by a distinct salinity. The textural aspect is clean and endearing, with a mouthcoating, sappy quality accented by bright fresh fruit and vibrant acidity. As pure as the driven sea breeze! Marvelous, unadulterated winemaking by master António Maçanita. Drink now-2028+ This may blossom even longer than my suggested drinking window.

2019 Azores Wine Company, Rosé Volcânico (RT92) Another masterpiece of winemaking by António Maçanita, this unique rose is crafted from a blend of 25% Saborinho, 25% Agronomica, 25% Aragones and 25% Touriga Nacional. The result is a supple, rich Rose that expresses the minerality of its origins in 100% black basalt. The bouquet reveals whispering notes of raspberry, strawberry, fresh apricot, and honey with hints of crushed stone and tufts of smoke and ash. The mouthfeel is deliciously rich, full, and round with just enough of acidic lift to keep it fascinating. An alluring Rose that keeps you coming back for another sip! Drink now-2024+