2015 Quinta De Soalheiro AlvarinhoAlbarino from Portugal
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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. M...
- 94 Mark Squires - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
94 Mark Squires - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Alvarinho is unoaked and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. As fans of this classic bottling know, it is very dry, most definitely not fizzy and typically a great value. It is glorious, expressive and fresh in this vintage. In the long, proud history of this fine estate, this seems to be as good or better as any standard, unoaked Alvarinho they have produced. It is also one of the best unoaked young Alvarinhos I've had. We'll see what the future brings--it won't be an unqualified success for Soalheiro if it does not hold well for a decade or much more--but I don't think there will be any problem here in that regard. It has fine supporting acidity, a bit of what I call these days "Soalheiro green," and wonderful fruit. Did I mention how delicious the fruit was, nicely supported by those laser bursts of acidity? It seems very elegant in other respects, even a touch delicate on opening, but that's deceptive. Its graceful demeanor made it easy to drink at first, but some hours later it was actually more powerful and more concentrated, plus perfectly transparent. It had opened and blossomed. As it sat in the mouth, the fine tension on the finish gripped the palate and enlivened the wine. Simply put, it is intense, tightly-wound, brilliantly structured and very concentrated. Since this is a Vinho Verde, the price point makes it a rather stunning value, too. I had the pleasure of tasting this not too long after it was bottled, but don't let that be a concern. This should hold well. Back up the truck. Grab them before they sit and bake on retailer shelves and delivery trucks over the summer. Store them properly. This will be fine for the foreseeable future. Sourced from vines averaging 25 years in age, there were 90,000 bottles produced.
One of the greatest producers in the region, Soalheiro consistently makes high quality wines that are just like great whites--there is no fizz here. They are dry, pointed, focused and age-worthy. Since they toil in Vinho Verde, they are also typically great values. The 2015 vintage, in particular, seems exceptional. The wines will last, too. There is no reason not to load up.
Admittedly, my drinking windows have not always been consistent (as discussed more in the article accompanying these notes). Simply put, if well stored and acquired promptly, there is no reason most of them cannot last at least a decade. They may go double that, too. Still, if you drink them up early, you won't be disappointed.
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. Melgaço region, the northern point of Portugal, is protected by a range of mountains that create the perfect conditions of rainfall, temperature and number of hours of sunshine needed to the better ripeness of the Alvarinho grapes. The brand name – Soalheiro - arises from the excellent sun exposure of the vineyards bearing the same name - a sunny place. Soalheiro 2015 – a perfect and consistent vintage. The summer months and specifically August had moderate temperatures and cool nights that favored a slow maturation and the concentration of the varietal aromas on the grapes. The beginning of September dry contributed to a perfect balance in the Alvarinho. In 2015, flowering occurred two weeks later than last harvest, because of the little precipitation in winter. This year we began the harvest on the first week of September to maintain usual freshness in the Soalheiro. Soalheiro Alvarinho 2015 is a wine in our style, elegant and intense.