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Casa da Passarella 2012 Dão Encruzado - On the Wine List


Rosie Cannonball located on Westheimer is a restaurant where you can expect to find some unique wines. A ladies lunch led to the enjoyment of one of my favorite wines from the Dão wine region in Portugal, the Casa da Passarella 2012 Encruzado. I was in the Dão at Casa da Passarella in late November of 2018 on a cold but beautiful morning and had the opportunity to taste with Paolo Nunez, the winemaker since 2008.

Though most people associate the country of Portugal with fortified Port wines and rich reds, I was most excited to visit Dão to taste their white wines and learn about their most elegant of white grapes, Encruzado. The Oxford Companion to Wine describes it as "the jewel in the crown, making age worthy varietal wines that may be crisp and fragrant or more Burgundian if barrel fermentation is employed." Prior to my 2018 trip, I had not been able to successfully locate a bottle in Houston.

Now, it is on the wine list at Rosie Cannonball for $75. At almost a decade old, the wine is showing off its age ability. The Casa da Passarella 2012 Encruzado is beautifully balanced with a full body and a lush texture, still displaying some youthful notes of apple and citrus but it was also developing hints of truffle and honey from age. As soon as I tasted it, I tried to add truffles to my pasta, but they were unfortunately out that day. The wine still paired quite nicely with the Mushroom Pappardelle pictured above and was the highlight of our meal.

The vineyard at Casa da Passarella in November of 2018. Photo by Sandra Crittenden.


Read about my 2018 visit to Casa da Passarella.

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