I have a bottle of Portuguese white in the fridge which I had anticipated opening later this week, so as to correct the neglect of Portugal in this blog. However, while out for lunch, there was this wine by the glass, so how could I say no. The Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Vinho Verde Escolha 2010 was on offer today, and it was a lovely drop.
Vinho Verde is a wine region that constitutes the northwest of Portugal. It’s actually quite a large region, essentially from Porto to the Douro region as recently discussed, and to the north until you hit Spain. It borders the Atlantic, so there is a large maritime influence, and grape growing dominates the region.
Vinho Verde can be translated as “green wine” though I’m never really been clear if that refers to it being something to be drunk young or if the pale gold has particularly green highlights. It used to be that as much red was produced as white, but the share of red is declining and little is exported. The white is typically made from Alvarinho, Loureiro, and Trajadura, and is generally light in alcohol. Often it undergoes malolactic fermentation which gives it a slight fizz.
Normally I would try to link to the producer’s site, but Google is telling me that it may host malware, so I won’t for now. The producer is Anselmo Mendes, one of the best known and respected producers in the region. He does a wide range of Vinho Verdes based on Alvarinho and Loureiro, with this being from the
former latter grape (I believed but couldn’t see any indication on the bottle – found out months later in retrospect I had been wrong).
This wine in particular was pale lemon, with crisp lime and blossom on the nose, lime on the palate but with some tropical fruit, and a hint of melon. No spritz, which is common in Vinho Verde, but a bit of acid zing. It had a tart lime finish but was somewhat short. Good quality, but perhaps not as fresh as it would have been a year ago.