With Alvarinho so much in vogue these days as a varietal, the other noble grape of the Vinho Verde region, Loureiro, gets little attention.
Loureiro could be considered the backbone of most traditional style Vinho Verde blends, due to the typically high acidity and fruitiness of the wine it produces. As a varietal it needs some care to produce high quality wines and one of the producers doing this is Quintas de Melgaço, renowned for their excellent value for money QM range of Alvarinhos.
The attractive bottle and label carries the rather strange name, Castrus, that sounds more like a medical procedure to me, but apparently relates to the Latin ‘Castrus’ meaning fort or castle in Latin.
This is a lovely summer wine, fresh and light enough for hot afternoons on the terrace but with enough body and texture to pair with food, ideal for grilled fish. Vibrant notes of apples on the nose mix with an almost undetectable hint of oak, the wine was partially barrel fermented with bâtonnage giving it body and some depth of flavour balancing with good acidity.
Outstanding value for money at €6.99 in Apolonia.
By Patrick Stuart