Quinta do Soal­heiro Al­var­inho Docil 9%, Vinho Verde Por­tu­gal 2017 £22, So­lent Cel­lar

The Observer Magazine - - Food & Drink -

The recipe for mak­ing a wine at low al­co­hol by leav­ing a lit­tle sugar rather than fer­ment­ing it all into al­co­hol isn’t ex­clu­sive to ries­ling. New Zealand’s For­rest makes a wine in a sim­i­lar style with sau­vi­gnon blanc, al­though for my money it doesn’t have quite the depth and live­li­ness of the ries­ling. One grape va­ri­ety that does work, how­ever, is the Ibe­rian al­bar­iño (or al­var­inho). Such, at least, is the con­clu­sion drawn from tast­ing Quinta do Soal­heiro’s Dó­cil, which has a de­light­ful com­bi­na­tion of peach­i­ness, white flow­ers and teas­ing acid­ity. This shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing: while very much their own thing, Soal­heiro’s dry al­var­in­hos, such as Quinta do Soal­heiro Al­var­inho, Vinho Verde 2017 (£16.50, The Wine So­ci­ety), have al­ways re­minded me of ries­ling, with the same elec­tric ten­sion, aro­matic charm and abil­ity to age.

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