Soalheiro Terramatter – a new take on Alvarinho

If anyone asks me what is my favourite Portuguese white grape variety, the answer is always Alvarinho. Another question I am often asked is what is my favourite Portuguese white wine and again the answer would be an Alvarinho.

Until recently the superb Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas ticked all the boxes for me and even at around €17 represents excellent value for money. Primeiras Vinhas was the white wine I would take with me when travelling abroad to show fellow wine lovers just how good Portugal’s white wines are these days. But now it has been knocked off its perch as far as I am concerned by a sibling, specifically Soalheiro Terramatter. 

This new organic wine was only launched onto the market last year with the 2014 vintage and has some notable differences in the production technique to anything else from this producer, or any other for that matter. Apart from being organic, the wine is unfiltered with partial malolactic fermentation in chestnut wood barrels.

On the nose the wine is unmistakably Alvarinho, bounding with sweet green fruit aromas following through to a full rounded flavour with great acidity and an extremely long mineral finish. Being totally unfiltered, the wine contains a fine sediment that results in the last couple of glasses from the bottle being somewhat cloudy in the glass, but no less delicious. €17.95 at Apolónia.

By PATRICK STUART [email protected]