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(2019) The fact that the hot Douro Valley produces crisp and fresh, dry white table wines still comes as something of a surprise to many. Generally grown on the higher slopes, often orientated to the cooler north, the vineyards are harvested a little earlier which can produce wines wines like this one with good fruit, modest alcohol (12.5%), and retaining good natural acidity. It is an aromatic blend of many local varieties including Moscatel and Malvasia, unoaked, allowing the bright, floral and tropical fruit aromas to take centre stage. On the palate it is a genuinely lovely white wine, enough sweet mandarin orange and nectarine fruit to please everyone, but a lovely stripe of lemon zest acidity to give balance and length. Note that there are many independent stockists of this wine (use wine-searcher) but showing the 2016 or 2017 vintage. Stockist quoted is the only one showing 2018 at time of review, but do check as vintages move on all the time. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) Comparing to the 2016 vintage side-by-side was fascinating, with a such a clear family resemblance, but slightly different personalities. I found this 2017 just a little more luscious than the cool and elegant 2016, the mid-palate fruit just a little more peachy and sweet, and yet that towering, zesty acidity pushes through, with a similar grip and texture, and firm, dry clarity in the finish. Another absolutely lovely Douro white, perception-changing and experessing the minerality of the terroir.
(2019) A blend of traditional local grapes, Viosinho, Codega de Larinho, Malvasia and Rabigato, this surprises as Douro whites so often do with its particular freshness and mineral intensity. Unoaked, it does go through malolactic, which only rounds-out the texture and perhaps softens the acidity a little, but it stays dry, flecked with a salty mineral character, yet there is a lemon rind fruit and light waxiness there, almost like a dry Clare Valley Riesling perhaps, into a long and substantial finish of texture and flavour. Delicious and understated. Watch the video for more information.
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