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Mondeuse Blanche - Blauer Portugieser

Mondeuse Blanche - Blauer Portugieser

For most winemakers in Austria, Blauer Portugieser is a filler, grape, used in blends or for house wines. We don't buy these, we buy from people who give the grape the same attention as the more popular grapes and make delicious wines. Like a lot of "neglected" grapes, it is simply lack of attention in planting or winemaking that makes so many of the wines simple. Just like Swiss Chasselas, Blauer Portugieser vines give prolific yields and has low acidity. Just like Swiss Chasselas, Portugieser wines were meant to be drunk in their youth and considered not suited to long-term cellaring. And - no surprise here - just as Swiss Chasselas there's no reason they cannot age magnificently with proper winemaking, or make truly impressive wines. A medium ruby colour with a fruity, grape juice kind of nose. There are also some aromas of plum and red cherry. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with low tannins and with moderately low acidity. On the palate, it tastes of grape with some cherry and raspberry fruit. Very smooth.

Mondeuse Blanche is another rarity and makes very pleasant and interesting wines. Yet there are only between 5 and 10 hectares left in Savoie. Mondeuse Blanche wines are typically made in the fresh, dry style, typical of Savoie, although they are typically not very high in acidity. The notes are floral (magnolia and acacia) at first , then hazelnuts and rich plum flavours come out - In some ways it is not unlike aromas and flavours found in Viognier.

Whilst DNA profiling has shown that the relationship between Mondeuse Blanche and Mondeuse Noire is a parent-offspring rather than a mutation, it has also shown that Mondeuse Blanche naturally crossed with Dureza and gave birth to Syrah. Yet another rare and almost forgotten grape without which we would be without one of the most popular international varieties. It also has a parent-offspring relationship with Viognier.

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Although popular for its generous harvests, the variety has poor disease resistance (mildew and grey rot are a particular concern) and requires careful maintenance in the vineyard to make good wine.

Despite the suggestion of the grape's name of having a Portuguese origin, ampelographers have uncovered little evidence to suggest that this is the case. It is often said that the Austrian, Johann von Fries, brought it from Oporto to his estates near Voslau in 1772. Until recently and for that reason, it was called Kékoportó in Hungary. There is evidence to indicate that by the 19th century, the grape was widely established in Austria and that it was then that cuttings were brought to Germany.

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