A surprise from Anselmo Mendes

Anselmo Mendes is one of the great names in modern Vinho Verde, meaning great white wines made mostly from the Alvarinho or Loureiro grape in the Vinho Verde region.

I discovered this Singellus label whilst browsing the shelves of Continente Supermarket in Guia and was surprised to see his name stamped on the label.

Mendes usually only makes his own wines and being very good at it, I was surprised to see him working on a consultancy basis for another producer.

A little digging, however, revealed that this wine is from the private estate of the Belmiro de Azevedo family in the Minho.

This is one of Portugal’s most powerful families, who control the Sonae Group which owns the Continente Supermarket chain, along with most of Portugal’s shopping malls and NOS Telecom, amongst other interests.

It is, therefore, no surprise that these wines are available at Continente Supermarkets. I have certainly not seen them anywhere else, but it appears that they are also available from specialist wine shops and websites.

Anyway, what we have here is some extremely good wine. The Alvarinho currently on sale at Continente (€10.49) is from the 2017 vintage, a real treat for Alvarinho lovers who know that good Alvarinho is best after a few years in the bottle.

There is also a Loureiro, a lighter and fresher wine of outstanding quality, priced at €8.49. Both of these wines easily match up to the quality of the similarly priced main labels from the likes of Soalheiro, and I will certainly be heading back to Continente to pick up a few more bottles.

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