2019 Anselmo Mendes Pardusco
Over 700 years ago - within what would later be the winemaking region Vinho Verde (this area was not officially designated as such until 1908) - two Portuguese villages were founded along the country's border with Spain: Monção and Melgaço. Since their inception, wine production has been an essential part of life in this area of Portugal. And by the 1600s, Monção had already made a name for itself beyond borders, with the famed "vinho de Monção" becoming particularly in-demand across waters in England. Amid these snapshots of global trade in the region, Monção's red wines developed a specific monicker in their own right, one that signified the village's delicious, low-alcohol and light-colored reds. Known for traveling well and aging even better, Monção reds were hence called "Pardusco."
Famed Portuguese winemaker Anselmo Mendes (who we have affectionately spotlighted twice this month - after all, he is a key figure in the Vinho Verde region) grew up in Monção. Known for his innovative methods, Mendes is also champions the use of the traditional methods that have endured for centuries. And no better example of this rich history and cultural depth than his 2019 Pardusco.
The Pardusco is a blend of primarily Alvarelhão and a handful of other varietals indigenous to the area, like Pedral. The result is a pale ruby color, with strong fruit and spice aromas on the nose. Fresh and pleasantly acidic like its Vinho Verde denomination would suggest, the 2019 Pardusco's finish is similarly elegant and notably long. An ideal summertime sip, this wine is a wonderful pairing to LUSH's charcuterie board cured meats, extra virgin olive oil cured seafood, or creamy burrata and heirloom tomato salad.