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2019 Soalheiro Alvarinho Monção e Melgaço Vinho Verde Portugal

SKU #1474970 95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark A cooler than usual year, with perfect harvest conditions. Deceptively pale, indeed almost water-white, yet brimming with tropical fruit in the flamboyant nose and palate. Juicy, perfumed pineapple, passionfruit, lychee and nectarine cut with tangier greengage bite makes for a lively, persistent palate, with an edge of fresh fennel to the finish. Breezy, but concentrated. Vivid and very intense, with lipsmacking acidity. (SA) Inner quote mark (6/2020)

93 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Maria João Cerdeira tends to the vines while her brother, Luís, makes this wine, a blend from their own parcels in Melgaço as well as from neighboring vines they help farm. The Cerdeiras continue to release a broad range of more specialized alvarinhos, from old vines, from high-altitude sites or from sulfur-free winemaking. Their flagship bottling is a blend of estate and purchased fruit, and this 2019 is the best version we’ve tasted in recent years. It captures their placement between the mountains and the sea, where the Minho River carries winds inland from the Atlantic. Bright and fresh when first poured, the wine’s flavors of lemon pith and crunchy apple extend with air, gaining depth and length while holding the cool, airy feel of a summer rain. Inner quote mark (8/2020)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2019 Alvarinho, the so-called unoaked "classico," is dry (three grams of residual sugar and 6.9 grams of total acidity) and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. On paper, this has a somewhat crisper demeanor than the 2018. Due to more cool days in 2019 and a harvest in the first week of September, the winery said the acidity was slightly higher with lower pH, and in their opinion, that contributed to the profile of Soalheiro. Comparing this to the Granit, as always, leads you to two completely different wines. The Granit seems lighter, tenser and more energetic. It is precise and focused. This does all that too, but the balance with the fruit is different—often, I say better, but not this year. The expression of fruit here is pure Alvarinho, but the Granit is no slouch. This Classico is ripe but lifted, though. It's pretty tasty in its youth too. Like the Granit, though, this might be better next year—although this is more approachable. They both will age well, as the winery's track record in general has frequently demonstrated over the years. (I still like to stay conservative in the drinking windows. You might not think 11 years is conservative for a Vinho Verde, but here it might well be.) This looks terrific this year, and it's a typically super value. (MS) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

K&L Notes

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.

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Price: $24.99

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/27/2020 | Send Email
I am willing to argue that this is the best Albarino/Alvarinho that we sell. This does everything that you want from the varietal. It is aromatic. Not a perfumed varietal but the aromatics jump out of the glass. Cool tropical and stone fruit beg you to take a sip. Several things happen once you taste a sip. First there is a smack of zinging refreshing acid, then you’re surprised with the weight of the wine on the palate, it is definitely medium bodied and the third thing is the finish, that bright acid pulls the wine into a very long finish. The flavors echo the nose but with a little more exotic apple and persistent river stone minerality. This is a great bottle of wine, one that can be consumed now or buy several and wait for crab season. For years, this has always been one of my favorite hand sells in the store. Why has it been a hand sale? It is Vinho Verde. Now there is nothing wrong with Vinho Verde. We sell a lot of it, I drink a good amount of it, but there is a perception issue. Most Vinho Verde is inexpensive. It is reasonably priced and super easy to drink, it is light bodied, crisp, sometimes a little spritzy and sometimes with a kiss of sweetness. How can you not like that? It is not the most serious wine, however. This wine is twice as expensive as most Vinho Verdes. It has a serious price point, it is labeled Alvarinho and confusingly it says Monção e Melgaço not Vinho Verde on the front label. Before I start to unpack all of that, Soalheiro is one of the greatest Alvarihno producers in Portugal. In the late 70’s they were looking across the Minho river at their Spanish neighbors and were inspired, plant more Alvarinho. What is across the River? Rias Baixas! They have the same soils and same climate. The two northernmost subregions in Vinho Verde are Monção e Melgaço. After years of hard work by Soalheiro and a few others in the region, the appellation recognized their efforts and allowed for them to state where their vineyards are on their labels.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/22/2020 | Send Email
This is consistently one of the best Alvarinhos in the building, with more complexity than anything comparable whilst maintaining the Vino Verde trademark fun and ease.With a green grass and fruit filled nose, the palate moves elegantly to a lovely, salty, briny finish that lingers. Socially distanced crabfeed favorite, this will be fire with any seafood - full stop, but also South East Asian food that isn't too spicy or Crudites.

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