Portuguese Wine School: Vinho Verde Masterclass, 2nd July
Tis the season to Vinho Verde and, while you can expect freshness to be the hallmark of each and every wine, I’ll be challenging a few stereo-types into the bargain at my Vinho Verde Masterclass at Portuguese Wine School. Held at OSM Wine Bar in Old Spitalfields Market, it will be followed by supper prepared especially for us by Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado.
We shall taste classic blends – boutique examples – but the focus will be on top tier single varietal Alvarinho and Loureiro from the sub-regions of Monçao e Melgaço and Lima, including cutting edge examples made from biodynamically grown fruit, naturally fermented Vinho Verde and a no added sulphur Alvarinho.
We’ll taste Portugal’s leading red grape variety Vinhāo – two benchmark, contemporary examples which play nice with your gums!
Topping and tailing the tasting, we’ll have a sparkling Alvarinho and a late harvest Loureiro from star players Quinta de Soalheiro and Quinta do Ameal.
The line up
Quinta de Val-Bôa Escolha Branco 2017 – a naturally fermented blend of Arinto, Alvarinho and Avesso
Casa de Pacos Superior 2016 – a blend of Alvarinho, Arinto, Fernão Pires and Loureiro
Aphros Loureiro 2016 – from this leading certified biodynamic estate
Quinta do Ameal Solo 2016 – so-called because this Loureiro “makes itself alone”
Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Escolha 2014 – fermented and aged in French oak
Sem Igual 2014 – a surprisingly full-bodied Arinto/Azal blend from Amarante
Soalheiro Granit Alvarinho 2016 – one of my Decanter Expert’s Choice Portuguese White Wine recommendations
Soalheiro Nature Pur Terroir 2016 – a no added sulphur Alvarinho
Anselmo Mendes Curtimenta Alvarinho 2011 – a mature top notch Alvarinho made with skin contact and part fermentation on skins, followed by ageing in 400l French oak barrels – a powerful white from this acclaimed vintage and producer
Quinta da Raza Vinhão 2015 – friendly red Vinho Verde you can chill
Aphros Vinhão 2017 – another red Vinho Verde for chilling – you and the wine!
Quinta do Ameal Late Harvest 2012 – a super rare dessert Loureiro