I wish more white wines were made like this, and I am not referring to the fact that this wine is organic and/or vegan. What made this relatively new arrival on the shelves at Apolónia catch my attention (€8.99) was not the notice announcing it as a “biological” wine, but the year. This wine is from the 2013 vintage and has only recently found its way to the shops.
Of course, there are many white wines that should be drunk young, but so many others that could benefit from at least a few years of bottle ageing are sold too young.
There are many producers out there who will be launching their 2018 whites onto the market before the end of the year, when they are clearly not ready for drinking. It is all, of course, a question of supply and demand. Winemaking is a business after all and, if a producer is selling out of the previous year’s vintage, perhaps just as it is getting ready for drinking (Soalheiro and their Alvarinho wines are one of the main culprits of this), then they have to sell what they have, even if it is not actually “ready”.
This wine is made from a field blend of Fernão Pires, Arinto, Malvasia-Fina and Rabo de Ovelha grapes, fermented together and aged in stainless steel on the lees, then in the bottle for up to three years before releasing. For a wine costing less than €10, this is a lot of work, and it shows.
The wine is a pale-yellow colour with mature white fruits on the nose and good body in the mouth along with fresh acidity; not a quaffing wine by any means but something to enjoy with food such as white meats or, as I discovered, with nice pork and clam cataplana. This really is a very nice mature white wine, with the added bonus of being organic and vegan for those who are so inclined.
By Patrick Stuart