Vinho Verde, Portugal
Olá, a partir de Vinho Verde. At the moment I am whirling about in a scalene triangle of grapes up here in the cool, rainy, verdant north west region of Portugal. Alvarinho, Trajadura and Loureiro are on my mind, not to mention what red revelations lurk in Vinhao. I will return before you can shoot “look, there’s the Super New Moon.” No waxing prosaic preamble today folks while I scour the hills and cellars of Vinho Verde for the next great white epiphany. Next weekend’s April 2nd VINTAGES release is full of spills and chills, along with some fine values for spring sun and for 10 degree rainy days.
Related – Eight is enough
I will return next week with a report on what’s available for Passover taken from the March 19th release. For now here are seven sub-$20 values for April 2nd.
Château Haut Philippon 2014, Ac Entre Deux Mers, Bordeaux, France (445171, $14.95, WineAlign)
More and more the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers creep into the positive vibrations of Sauvignon Blanc pleasure. This highly expressive beauty makes great work of the ideal with 20 per cent Semillon and 10 Muscadelle lending balancing left and right hands. The herbiage is a cool savour and on the ripe mineral edge of flinty. The value quotient runs high between the seas. Drink 2016-2019. Tasted March 2016
Dr. Hermann From The Slate Riesling 2013, Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (446617, $17.95, WineAlign)
Lovely mineral weight compresses the sugars in this mildly flinty and even more so, slight and lithe by citrus Riesling. Doctor, my eyes now see the light into this Qualitätswein from the house that Hermann built. “Cause I have wandered through this world and as each moment has unfurled,” because of acidity, in which there mingles tropical and beneficial bitters. The action makes for a great little drop from soils fractured with slate. Exemplary Mosel, especially at the gifted price. Drink 2016-2020. Tasted March 2016
Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina (261867, $18.95, WineAlign)
Made up in the direct, in your face, ripe and firm Mendoza style, from full on sunshine-fleshy Malbec with a decidedly ferric undertone. This has attitude and gumption. It needs a few years to settle into its leathery hide. Always one of the better value propositions although spiked in price for 2013 to where it should rightfully be. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted March 2016
Paolo Conterno Bricco Barbera D’alba 2014, Doc Piedmont, Italy (744714, $19.95, WineAlign)
Exemplary Barbera, firm and with tart red fruit, spikes of spice and nicely drying tannin. The sour lactic flavours are full of bright red berries and an edge of astringency while the length is more than merely exceptional. Bricco to win. Drink 2016-2019. Tasted March 2016
Marques De Gelida Exlusive Brut Gran Reserva Cava 2010, Do Penedès, Spain (441956, $19.95, WineAlign)
The aromas are painted at dusk, misty, musty and compressed. The palate shows much more vitality and even a shot of exuberance. By the time the two ends of the sparkling spectrum come to an accord the baking spices of ginger, cardamom and turmeric have taken charge. Painted bottles and an oxidative Cava. Packaged to sell. “Painted ladies and a bottle of wine mama…They took my money like I knew they would.” Drink 2016-2019. Tasted March 2016
Deu La Deu Alvarinho 2014, Monção E Melgaço, Doc Vinho Verde, Portugal (40642, $19.95, WineAlign)
Rich and unctuous Vinho Verde, full in with lemon and custard, like a Pasteis de Nata swimming in a pool of Moscatel liqueur. High in tang and even more so with spirit. Nothing really lithe about it though it expresses Vinho Verde life with clear and concise language. A far cry from the commercial Vinho Verde found on most LCBO shelves. Drink 2016-2019. Tasted March 2016
Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel 2014, Lodi, California (942599, $19.95, WineAlign)
The old vines advantage is exercised with altruistic gifting in Joel Peterson’s 2014 through a stealth advent in savoury, smoky red fruit, a smouldering olive branch and off the Zinfandel chart, blooming roses. This has a fine streak running through, not mean, but assuredly firm, mildly tannic and very, very mineral. It reminds at times of schist Syrah and alluvial flats Grenache. There’s something about Zinfandel old vines that educes such a pipe dream. The metal backbone is neither copper nor rust but something umami ore other. Terrific complexity from OV Lodi. Let it rest a bit just to be sure you can handle its orthodoxy. Drink 2017-2021. Tasted March 2016
Good to go!
WineAlign: Michael Godel