At a time like this, it's pretty much impossible to be 'normal'. But it is important to try and keep what you can as close to normal as you can while you can. Even though we will not be doing the public tasting portion of the Insider's Pick until further notice, we will still be offering the wine for purchase with the usual 10% discount on Thursday and Friday. The wines will still be ones we highly recommend, and the tasting notes will still be our own. We hope you are able to come by and get some wines to enjoy.
Portugal has an extensive history of wine production, but outside of the fortified Ports and Madeiras not a lot of that has been for higher quality. The Vinho Verde region has been particularly plagued by that reputation, as the name has become so synonymous with the slightly fizzy and inexpensive white wine it became 'famous' for, there is little recognition by the public they are capable of doing anything else. It's a similar situation to the reputation Zinfandel has domestically due to being 'famous' for making semi-sweet White Zinfandel, so few people realize the grape is capable of making spectacular dry red wines. That reputation is starting to change in general for Vinho Verde over the last decade or so, but some producers have been pursuing that ideal for much, much longer. Quinta do Ameal has been known as a distinctive spot for growing grapes since the walled vineyard was established after World War II, and has been pushed to the forefront since the Araujo family (former founders/owners of port house Ramos Pinto)) purchased and renovated the property. Early on they recognized the distinct potential for the Loureiro grape in their particular microclimate, and were among the very first to develop single varietal non-fizzy Vinho Verde like this, with Alvarinho (Albarino) also a featured variety.
Vibrant zesty lime and a somewhat sea-spray sort of cool salinity on the nose gives the wine a great refreshing pop from the moment it's poured, actually enhanced with a bit of chill, not muted like many other white wines can be. The palate is full of juicy cool citrus and again plenty of lime tones; there is probably a touch of residual sugar here (evidenced by the low 11%abv), but it's there to help balance the mouth-puckering acidity, which would be almost uncomfortably drilling into the palate and on the finish without it. Just enough to take the sting out and let you concentrate on the refreshing flavors. Much like a Muscadet from France, this is an ideal wine to do with briny oysters and shellfish, but actually performs at its best with more oily and herbal influenced seafood preparations, as well as light summery citrus dishes.
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!