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