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New find: Sem Igual Vinho Verde

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I’m in Vinho Verde today.  As me and my panel observed at Decanter World Wine Awards last month, this is a region very much on the up. We had more entries than ever and better wines than ever.  That’s all I can tell you for now!

Ambitious new producers are part and parcel of Vinho Verde’s rising fortunes. I came across one such, Sem Igual, at the Annual Portugal Tasting in London. Owner João Camizão Rocha subsequently sent me his latest 2013 release to re-taste together with the previous vintage.  Here are my notes:

Sem Igual 2013 (Amarante, Vinho Verde DOC)

Like the 2012, the grapes (Arinto and Azal) are handpicked and whole bunch pressed, which translates into good quality juice/fruit.  Where the Amarante sub-region is well inland (see this map) and the vineyard on a south-facing slope, the palate is weightier and more textural (a little leesy/waxy) than wines from closer to the coast (the alcohol level also points to its warmer origins).  It reveals fresh and bruised apple and pear fruit with a nutty, leesy edge, juicy acidity and good length, concentration and interest.  13.3%

Sem Igual 2012 (Amarante, Vinho Verde DOC)

Like the 2013, the 2012 has really nice weight and balance in the mouth.  It reveals bruised and crisp apple fruit and perfumed melon.  A long, bright, refreshing finish has a salty edge.  Though a year older, it seems fresher than the 2013 with more persistent acidity.  Very attractive.  13%
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