This is a white that breaks all the moulds of what most consumers would associate with the Vinho Verde region. What we have here is a deep straw-coloured and full-bodied white wine, well suited to enjoy with roast poultry, richly-seasoned fish dishes or a nice cheese platter. It’s not cheap, priced at €17.95 (Apolónia), but this is a limited edition of numbered bottles with a total production of just 1,265, in this case from the 2016 vintage.
The wine is made by Márcio Lopes, a niche producer of high-quality wines in the Douro Valley and Vinho Verde regions who is best known for the premium Douros he produces under the “Proibido” (red) and “Permitido” (white) labels.
Up in the Minho, his Vinho Verde wines rely mostly on the Alvarinho grape, but here he has blended it with Arinto, another white grape that, like Alvarinho, has great ageing potential.
The wine, made with indigenous yeasts, is fermented with the skins and then aged in used oak barrels.
Followed by a few years’ bottle-ageing, it becomes something quite unique with intense aromas of mature lemons and oranges mingling with herbal and floral notes, unctuous in the mouth with lively acidity and a long dry finish.