2012 Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho "Contacto" Minho

SKU #1138801 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Alvarinho Contacto comes in at 13% alcohol. This brand is fast becoming one of my very favorites from Mendes. It is usually a great intersection of quality and price. This is a wonderful follow-up to the very fine 2011. Take the power, finish and grip of its sibling, the very nice 2012 Alvarinho Muros Antigos reviewed this issue. Now, add yet a little more intensity, a full bodied feel and additional complexity. It results in an impressive wine, one that should age beautifully and have the stuffing to hold up well to many foods. Beautifully balanced as well, it is still tightly wound in its youth, precise, pure and focused. There is actually a lot more going on here than at first seems apparent. While never losing its balance, it showed, as it warmed into the 60sF (and THEN over several hours and THEN the next day in particular), what lurked underneath—transparency as well as some laser like bursts of acidity. It may have been at its best on Day 2 actually—and how many times have you heard that about Vinho Verde?--and at the end of the day at that, some 6 hours after the first taste. It likely will be better with a year or so of cellaring, even though it is certainly wonderful now. Stock up on this. Note: The “Contacto” is so named because it emphasizes prolonged skin contact. It is also a bit different in that it comes from a different terroir and soil type than Mendes' Muros Antigos Alvarinho—rolling stones rather than sandy. Drink now-2020.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

This is an impressive and serious style of 100% Alvarinho wine. Intense and almost medicinal aromas open up to a wonderful palate of yellow stone fruits and pithy lime flavors, with a strong thread of acidity and minerality each weaving their way through the fruit. One could likely attribute the unusual complexity and persistence of this wine to the extra maceration of the skins on the juice as well as extended tank aging on the lees. Portuguese Alvarinho does not get much better than this. (Joe Manekin, K&L Portuguese wine buyer)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2014 | Send Email
Crisp , bright and lively, a taste of the Anselmo Alvarinho is inviting and a perfect pairing with fish and seafood. This wine is clean with citrus, a hint of mineral and a wonderful acidity that will wake up any palate.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/19/2013 | Send Email
I love this wine. It's fresh, fruity, full of life, with the classic saline note of Alvarinho.

Staff Image By: Mellyn Craig | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2013 | Send Email
I was already a sucker for Alvarinho wines, but this one from Anselmo Mendes has won my heart and my palate. This wine is bursting with lovely stone fruits and minerality in perfect balance. The lively acidity, spice and citrus pithe will wake up your taste buds. There is so much complexity in this wine that it will hold up to many foods well. Serve this at a dinner party and amaze your friends!

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Other White Wines



- Although quite small, Portugal produces a great variety of wines ranging from light and fizzy Vinho Verde to hearty and tannic Port. Portugal is Europe's fourth-largest wine-producing region, and has been exporting its wine since the 14th century. The Douro Valley of Portugal is the original and current home for the world's finest Port. The valley spans from east of the city of Oporto all the way to the border of Spain and is the country's best known wine region. Lesser-appreciated DOCs like Bairrada and Dão area also emerging for their fine, rustic reds. Click for a list of bestselling items from Portugal.
Alcohol Content (%): 13