2008 JM Fonseca Twin Vines Vinho Verde

Hot Summer, Cool Wine, Vivo Portugal!

They say the summer’s been hot. Has the summer been hot for you?

Here in the Bay Area, the summer of 2010 will end up going down as maybe the coldest in a half-century. No 100+ degree days, only a handful of days over 90, even in the East Bay valleys, notorious for their triple-digit July and August heat waves.

But still, you don’t all live here. More likely than not, you, the person reading this, does not live in the greater Bay Area, and perhaps your summer has been really freakin' hot. If that’s the case, read on. If it isn’t, read on as well.

What? I’m not about to suggest you go read someone else’s wine blog.

That’s the bottle. Pretty, yes?

So’s the wine. If you haven’t had a Vinho Verde before, you probably should. From Portugal’s Minho region, in the northern part of the country, these light white wines are blends of alvarinho, treixadura, loureiro, and other local white grape varieties. They’re crisp and refreshing, generally. And for the people tired of reading my reviews of wine that costs over a hundred dollars a bottle, Vinho Verde tends to be rather cheap.

So what’s the deal with JM Fonseca’s Twin Vines? It’s a very light yellow in the glass, pretty and almost clear. On the nose, pear and a pleasant grassiness match up with a light nuttiness, perhaps almond? It’s nice, and subtle, whatever it is.

The wine is light-bodied and crisp, and features a touch of frizzante. What is frizzante, you ask? It’s a light bubbliness. This isn’t sparkling wine, of course, but there is a touch of sparkle on your tongue when you drink it. The finish is short, and the pear and nuttiness from the nose round out the palate.

This isn’t mind-blowing wine. Nor is it meant to be. On a hot day, this kind of bright, crisp, flavorful white wine is just what the meteorologist ordered.

Oh, and the cost? Not bad at $5-$10 per bottle. Not bad at all.

Verdict: 86/100

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