Tried & tasted: João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2012
Alvarinho is being planted in Alentejo but winemakers David Baverstock (Howards Folly), now João Portugal Ramos, have nonetheless seized the opportunity to work with Alvarinho from up north, in Monção and Melgaço.
The Vinho Verde sub-region (Monção and Melgaço) is undoubtedly home to Portugal’s premier examples and, having been such a staunch supporter of these fabulous Alvarinhos, it was great to hear how much they impressed the uninitiated at the Alvarinho Masterclass at Wines of Portugal Challenge last month, especially the older wines.
You can read my review of the second release of Howards Folly’s Alvarinho here and, below, my tasting note on the maiden vintage of João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2012. It was launched last month at London International Wine Fair.
João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2012
Both Ramos’ and Baverstock’s Alvarinhos are richly fruited expressions of the variety (less mineral/taut than say the wines of Anselmo Mendes or Soalheiro). Additionally this wine was part-fermented (20%) in new French oak barrels (the balance in stainless steel). This plus a touch of pre-ferment maceration rachets up both intensity and mouthfeel. Nonetheless, it maintains the juicy acidity (7.2g/l total acidity to be precise) one associates with the region, making for a persistent finish. It shows boisterous ripe pear, perfumed pear skin and pink grapefruit – a thoroughly modern Vinho Verde then. Exactly what I’d expect from JPR. 13.5% abv.