Adega do Vulcão Ameixâmbar Arinto dos Açores 2018
I’m often asked where I would choose to make wine. Well, let’s just say Rodolfo Silva is living my dream! The engineer founded Adega do Vulcão in 2015 and, in a bold move, planted Canto do Capelo vineyard on virgin territory on the Azorean island, Faial. Following soil studies, Silva made a bee-line for the volcanic ash/lava bed created when Vulcão dos Capelinhos erupted in the 1950s. Having patiently stitched together 62 plots of land, which had belonged to different owners, he is both thrilled and relieved his conviction about the vineyard’s potential has been reinforced by the wine (and his friend, the renowned Italian winemaker, Alberto Antonini). Silva also sources fruit from three hectares of older vines in Lajido da Criação Velha, Pico island, across the strait from Faial.
A maiden release of just 2,600 bottles, predominantly sourced from the island of Faial, in the Azores, it is a blend of 90% Arinto-dos-Açores and 10% Terrantez-do-Pico. Bone dry, yet quite fat in the mouth, with great dry extract, this textural white has lingering, shimmering, salty, crystalline minerality, with an undertow of savoury whetstone. Benchmark stuff, it is well-endowed with the ‘weightless gravity’ borne of volcanic soils which Master Sommelier John Szabo identifies in his riveting book, ‘Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit & Power.’ 13%