February 22, 2006

Vinho Verde from Afros.

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes
Received a batch of Portuguese wines the other day; unsolicited direct from the producer. In the accompanying notes there is a mention of a white made from Siria; now that IS interesting. A new grape variety… sadly they have doubled up a red in the samples and I will have to miss out on sampling a Sira.

First to pass the scribblers lips though were two Vinho Verde. Not a wine style I would purposely purchase, if only for the reason that those sampled in the past would strip several layers off the tongue with their rasping acidity and lemon-tart flavours. Not a fan.

Wine Tasting Note: Afros Loureiro Vinho Verde, 2004, Portugal.
No details of price or stockist.
Pale but vibrantly bright colour, faint lemon aroma with a wheaty undertone. Medium bodied, crisp acidity. Not hugely complex but limes, a touch of grapefruit and a green, fresh finish. Dry. Excepting the subdued aroma reminiscent of a Sauvignon or perhaps a Riesling. Loureiro is the grape variety which is usually blended with others rather than appearing as a single varietal.

Scribblings Rating – 88/100

Wine Tasting Note: Afros Escolha Vinho Verde, 2004, Portugal.
No details of price or stockist.
Unsure if Escolha is another new grape variety or the name of the wine. I have a feeling that it is Loureiro given a little oak treatment. Either way the wine is deeper in hue than the Loureiro above. An interesting aroma something like an unripe papaya or guava. A little fuller in body but still with a lime and grapefruit edge to that unripe fruit. Maybe it’s more wet sandy stones… Crisp acidity and reasonably good length. Dry.

Scribblings Rating – 90/100

Vinho Verde as a wine region occupies the very north western area of Portugal abutting Spanish Galacia further north. It has a damp, maritime climate. As well as the ‘green’ wine the cuisine is also green – spindly cabbages and caldo verde or green broth (potato and cabbage soup) for example. Fish, perhaps the classic accompaniment to a glass of Vinho Verde, is also widespread especially locally caught fresh water trout and salmon. A prawn risotto using Japanese Miso soup as a stock base was my choice; a more herby Mediterranean rendition might have worked better but it was an edible match…

2 Comments
  1. Carlos Serafim February 24, 2006

    I think Escolha just means that the grapes were picked and sorted especially for this wine. In other words-the best grapes went in to it. the lesser grapes would wind up in the cheaper bottle. Almost like using the word reserva.
    Carlos Serafim

  2. Andrew February 25, 2006

    That makes more sense; it was certainly evident that it was a better wine but it never occured to me to think ‘reserve'; I was edging towards a single vineyard or something.

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