Region: DOP Vinho Verdo (Lima Sub-Region) – Portugal
Cost: $18 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Pale lemon in color, it has great aromatic intensity, dominated by citrus and floral aromas. On the palate it is vibrant and balanced, with a fresh and persistent finish. It will evolve well over the next 15 years.
My Review: I’ll be honest, when I think of Vinho Verde I think of warm days sitting on the deck enjoying a refreshing glass of wine with citrus and hint of effervescence to help cut the heat (and in the case of North Carolina, the humidity) before dinner or on a weekend afternoon. Which of course makes the 2021 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro an interesting twist on that formula, because while it certainly offered the elements of what I expected, opening it in January, and the unexpected (but not unwelcome) flavors gave me a bit of pause.
In the glass the wine was a light golden color, darker than I was expecting, but still a long ways away from an oaked Chardonnay. On the nose it was light and floral, with just a hint of petrol that creeped in as the wine warmed up. In the mouth there was a good body to the wine; it was light, but not thin.
On the palate I got tropical notes, with flavors of peach, apricot, and citrus with a slightly rounded finish. My wife and I paired the wine with chicken shawarma, and the tropical notes were a nice contrast to the spicy flavors of the dish. That being said, I don’t know that I would have picked this as a Vinho Verde if I were tasting it blind–that’s not a condemnation of the wine (far fro it in fact), but it was a definite departure from my experience with the region, and definitely one I’d be interested in exploring more.
For $18 it’s a great value–I loved how versatile it was, as I easily could have sipped on this by itself, but it paired well with our dinner, and probably would have gone well with roasted chicken, some herb pork, or a nice snack board spread of meats and cheese. One to keep in mind for your next gathering if you want something that’ll please a crowd, but might also spark a conversation.
Disclaimer: I received this wine as a free sample for review.
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