A top-flight Alvarinho
Around now is the time when we are starting to think of some special wines for the Christmas table or perhaps a gift for a wine-loving friend. Anselmo Mendes is today rated as one of the top producers in the Minho region, specifically when it comes to Alvarinho, and this is one of his premium wines; not cheap by any means at €29.95 (Apolónia), but this is something special.
Parcela Única translates to ‘individual plot or parcel’ amongst his extensive vineyards that are planted with the Alvarinho grape. This particular parcel of wines produces some of his best grapes and only the best of them were hand-selected for this wine.
Using the “curtimenta” method, the wine is fermented with the skins, and then aged on the lees with bâttonage for nine months in high-grade French oak barrels.
The producer suggests ageing this wine for up to 20 years, something quite realistic for an Alvarinho of such structure and concentration, but this 2014 is already drinking very well.
It’s surprising how top quality Alvarinho such as this, with careful oak work, can produce wines that are in many ways similar to good white Burgundy.
By Patrick Stuart