This is the big brother of a wine I featured in this column back in 2103 (QM Alvarinho – small photo) which at the time had been rated by Wine & Spirit magazine as the best Alvarinho in its category.
When it comes to value-for-money it is still the one to beat at €7 or less, a true expression of the great Portuguese white grape. But it was not until recently that I tried this Vinhas Velhas, launched onto the market just last year and made from selected grapes of the same producer’s oldest vines.
Whereas many of the top Alvarinhos on the market have achieved greater complexity through fermenting on the lees or even in some cases oak fermentation with batonage, this one has been simply vinified with nothing more than gentle pressing and fermentation in stainless steel.
The wine is totally clean and fresh on the nose with the typical grassy and citric notes of the variety coming to the front and underlying layers of tropical fruits. The quality of the fruit shines through in the mouth with a touch of creaminess, well balanced acidity and, above all, great freshness and purity.
By PATRICK STUART [email protected]