2011 Quinta De Soalheiro AlvarinhoAlbarino from Portugal
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"Quinta de Soalheiro, located in Melgaco (the most northern point of Portugal), is protected by a range of mountains that create conditions of rainfall, temperature and sunshin...
- 93 Wine & Spirits
- 90 Mark Squires - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
93 Wine & Spirits
"Based in Melgaco, the Cerdeiro family consistently produces one of the finest and most age-worthy alvarinhos. In 2011, an early flowering and moderate temperatures during the growing season created this fragrant, finely balanced white. Spend some time with it in the glass and the cool pear and grapefruit flavors develop a penetrating depth while a long arc of wildflower honey and minerally lees extends through the finish. The freshness and flavor concentration predict a long life ahead." (08/12)
90 Mark Squires - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2011 ALVARINHO, Soalherio's so-called Classic lineup, sometimes just referenced as the regular Branco, is rather distinctive this year. Although Luis Cerdeira likes the vintage (and so do I, here and overall in Vinho Verde, where it seems universally popular), this has a grassy nuance to it that is a bit aberrant for the group (as poured at the winery this year and as reviewed in other years). Yet, notwithstanding that demeanor, it is a remarkably elegant and graceful wine, consistent with the winery's style. It is still tight and persistent, yet utterly charming. When I tasted this at the winery, I was little less certain, but retasting it at home some months later certainly demonstrated how fine it is and how classy. As it warms, it becomes viscous and mouth coating, surprisingly well textured for Vinho Verde. Not all will be as happy with the herbaceousness, but it really isn't too strong and it does add a little of a refreshing feel to the wine. Drink now-2018.
Soalheiro, one of the region's great estates, is an Alvarinho specialist. The wines here were poured as part of verticals at the winery in Vinho Verde. I am replicating much of the Primeiras Vinhas (from the winery's first Alvarinho vines, planted in 1974) vertical that I reported on in the past for two reasons. First, it is always good to check up on the progress of the wines. Amazing as it seems to some people, there are Vinhos Verdes that actually age and develop. Second, that vertical and others published this issue for Soalheiro and another top producer in the region, Anselmo Mendes, demonstrate what modern Vinho Verde can be and can do. I hope these provide some insights into modern Vinho Verde. Note that the Reservas are oaked and the DOCIL 9% line is a low alcohol, off-dry white. Overall, these wines present a very different vision of the region. As always, library wines vary widely in price and availability. I have listed the price given to me only for the latest vintages. The current release, the regular 2011 Alvarinho is imported and was retasted in the USA." (12/12)
"Quinta de Soalheiro, located in Melgaco (the most northern point of Portugal), is protected by a range of mountains that create conditions of rainfall, temperature and sunshine hours necessary for the best ripening of the Alvarinho grapes. This very special microclimate led Joao Antonio Cerdeira to plant the first Alvarinho vine in 1974 and to create, in 1982, the first Alvarinho brand in Melgaco - Soalheiro."
"The Alvarinho grapes used in the Soalheiro came from several small vineyards planted in granite soil between 100 and 200 meters and located in a very particular microclimate. The brand name, Soalheiro, arises from the excellent sun exposure of the vineyards bearing the same name - a sunny place. The climatic conditions of 2011 allowed a very elegant aroma, mineral and tropical, with a good balance of taste, fresh and intense, anticipating a good ability to evolution in the bottle." - Winery