2015 Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Alvarinho is unoaked and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. As fans of this classic bottling know, it is very dry, most definitely not fizzy and typically a great value. It is glorious, expressive and fresh in this vintage. In the long, proud history of this fine estate, this seems to be as good or better as any standard, unoaked Alvarinho they have produced. It is also one of the best unoaked young Alvarinhos I've had. We'll see what the future brings--it won't be an unqualified success for Soalheiro if it does not hold well for a decade or much more--but I don't think there will be any problem here in that regard. It has fine supporting acidity, a bit of what I call these days "Soalheiro green," and wonderful fruit. Did I mention how delicious the fruit was, nicely supported by those laser bursts of acidity? It seems very elegant in other respects, even a touch delicate on opening, but that's deceptive. Its graceful demeanor made it easy to drink at first, but some hours later it was actually more powerful and more concentrated, plus perfectly transparent. It had opened and blossomed. As it sat in the mouth, the fine tension on the finish gripped the palate and enlivened the wine. Simply put, it is intense, tightly-wound, brilliantly structured and very concentrated. Since this is a Vinho Verde, the price point makes it a rather stunning value, too. I had the pleasure of tasting this not too long after it was bottled, but don't let that be a concern. This should hold well.
Delicious as usual, this mouthwatering Vinho Verde is 100% Alvarinho based. A combination of ripe golden stone fruits and fruit cocktail aromas lead to a rich, yellow and gold-fruited palate. Rich and with real flavor authority, the wine still shows loads of freshness and a nicely dry finish, perhaps a bit more so than the ebullient nose might suggest. The grapes are organically grown in the Vinho Verde sub-region of Melgaço and Monçao on granite soils. This expressive, more serious style of Vinho Verde is delicious as an aperitif or accompanied by your favorite grilled fishes and shellfish.