From the bottle:
“The name DAC stands fo ‘Dao’ – the region in central Portugal where my property is located — and my name — Alvaro Castro.
Since 1980, I have been the caretaker of both the family property and the distinctive wine that have come to define the style of Quinta da Pellada (altitude 550m). Dac white is a blend of the estate’s best white grapes — 40% Bical, 40% Cercial and 20% Encruzado — done, as always, with minimal intervention to preserve freshness and character. Pairs particularly well with fish, salads and white meats.
We’re taking a quick break from our Warming Winter Reds series today to (gasp) highlight a white wine! Despite what it may seem from all these recent posts, we DO drink white wine in the winter. That’s not to say; however, that we drink the same white wines we would in the summer. When the temperatures get chilly, I’m not looking for the same summertime sipper I would drink when it’s 90 degrees outside. For whatever reason, my personal preference turns to more complex white wines and especially those with a strong mineral component.
Just what minerality in wine means is an oft-debated topic, but I use the term here and throughout my reviews to refer to wines that have stoney, chalky, slatey or even salty notes — regardless if those notes truly come from minerals. More often than not these wines tend to have characteristics that you would associate with the soils they are grown in. This is despite researchers’ insistence that grapevines cannot take up minerals from the soil and that many of these minerals have no smell or taste. Yet, somehow, the impression one gets when drinking these wines is unmistakably mineral and so we describe it as such.
The 2012 Alvaro Castro DAC Dao Branco (White) consists of three grapes native to Portugal that are commonly blended together. As we often advise people, don’t let the unknown keep you from trying new wines — there are thousands of grape varieties used to make wine throughout the world and part of the fun of being a wine lover is attempting to taste them all! Today’s wine is an extremely enjoyable way to cross three of those varieties off your list.
The DAC begins with a lovely aroma of tropical fruit, orange zest, a little green apple and some very nice floral notes. Tasting the wine reveals wonderful rich fruit (apricot, grapefruit and pineapple primarily) plus tons of mineral notes and great acidity. This is no watered down white — with lots of deep, intense flavors this one has excellent complexity and is just a pleasure to drink. On the finish the rich fruit and mineral notes linger for a surprisingly long time.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.