Quinta do Ameal Escolha, 2015
Style/ Colour White
Region Minho (Vinho Verde)
Grape varieties 100% Loureiro
The producer I cannot imagine that it was an easy decision for Pedro Araújo to sell Quinta do Ameal – the bucolic estate which, as you can see, puts the Verde (meaning green) into Vinho Verde! In fact, Pedro did not certify his wines as DOC Vinho Verde for many years, because Vinho Verde was conflated with simple inexpensive wine, with sugar and spritz. Launching his first wine in 1999, with Anselmo Mendes (his acclaimed consultant winemaker), Pedro was among the handful of pioneers who confounded the stereotype, producing world-class dry, still white wines, which mature beautifully in bottle. Based in the Lima sub-region – the Loureiro grape’s heartland - he was the variety’s original champion. In 2019, the estate was acquired by the Roquette family – owners of Esporão in Alentejo and Quinta dos Murças in the Douro who, happily, carry the torch.
The vineyard/ winemaking Sourced from two south-facing, gently sloping plots on the 14-hectare estate’s poor granitic soils. Rigorous canopy management and de-leafing enhances the ripening potential (Ameal’s yields are less than half of the regional average). Grapes are hand-harvested in two waves in 20kg boxes, then whole bunch pressed. The resulting must was fermented then aged for six months on fine lees in used French oak barrels.
Tasting notes With five years’ bottle age, this yellow-gold Loureiro is on song. Persistent acidity and a salty undertow animate the rich, complex palate, teasing out layers of creamy brazil nut, lanolin, conifer and blackcurrant leaf to its pungent lime oil (a touch smoky) and savoury, salted limes cut with pithy lime-shred. Lovely mouthfeel and balance. As classy as a top-notch oaked Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, but more characterful. 4,000 bottles produced.
Food Pairing Goats cheese, acorn fed pata negra ham, roasted almonds
Serving recommendations Drink 2021-2025+
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