A stunning new rendition of the Loureiro grape

A stunning new rendition of the Loureiro grape

A recent arrival on the shelves at Apolónia (€15.95) is this “Solo Único” from Quinta do Ameal right up north in the Minho’s Vinho Verde region.

Ameal has long been the champion of the Loureiro grape being the first to show that the grape that provides the backbone of nearly all traditional Vinho Verde can also produce wines of class and distinction when treated with more care.

The main label Ameal costing around €7 to €8 is a beautifully light and refreshing wine with just 11% alcohol that reminds me of a nice Muscadet and is perfect to eat with seafood.

They also have a far more sophisticated and slightly oaked “Reserva” and now comes this one made by blending 60% of the wine aged on the lees in stainless steel with 40% aged in concrete vats for six months.

This is an outstanding wine and well worth the money. There is a slight creaminess in the mouth, with lovely white fruit notes on the nose. Huge acidity is well-balanced with freshness and the wine is steely dry, altogether reminding me of a nice Chabils.

I was interested to see on the rear label that the producer recommends ageing this wine for up to 15 years and, having tried some of their “Reserva” label with around six years’ bottle-ageing and considering the acidity of this one, I have no doubt that they are right, but it is already drinking very well.

By Patrick Stuart
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