First taste: Cazas Novas Avesso 2013 Vinho Verde
Readers will recall that, last year, I tipped single varietal Avesso Vinho Verde from Baião for success – Quinta de Covela’s fortunes have been revived following the release of the estate’s excellent Edição Nacional Branco. The easterly Baião sub-region (next stop the Douro) is warmer and drier than most of its counterparts so the Avesso grape flourishes there, making more textural, riper fruited, rounder wines. I’m delighted to have been alerted to the existence of another great example from Cazas Novas by Portuguese specialist Halifax Wine Company.
It is imported by Nick Oakley of Oakley Wines Agencies who has long specialised in Portuguese wines but only recently gone big on Vinho Verde following the region’s recent (and ongoing) quality revolution. He told me “I am having a bit of a push on single varietals from Vinho Verde. New wave wines that are 12% alcohol, richly fruited with good acidity and have no spritz. I think we will see many more like this with the conversion of the vineyard to VSP. Not a moment too soon in my opinion.” And it seems retailer Halifax Wine Company’s Andy Paterson agrees – “good wines at sensible prices. There is life after Sauvignon Blanc!” So there you go Sauvignon lovers – why not give premium Vinho Verde a chance? The Cazas Novas is even bottled under screwcap!!!!!
Cazas Novas Avesso 2013 (DOC Vinho Verde)
Owned by the Coutinho family, Cazas Novas is located at Santa Marinha do Zezere in Baião. With 6g/l residual sugar this Avesso is gently off-dry and richer than the Covela. It sports waxy but tangy fresh apricot and silky white peach with ripe round lingering limey acidity and, like the Covela, a hint of fennel to the finish. Very persistent and flavoursome. A very well made, interesting white wine (no surprises where Vinho Verde guru Anselmo Mendes oversees the winemaking). It would be the perfect partner for white fish dishes and is weighty enough to cope with sauces. 13% £9.95 at Halifax Wine Company and Bowes Wine. Incidentally, should you be travelling to the region and wondering where to stay in Vinho Verde it would seem that the Coutinho family are good people to contact.