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Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde 2014

Decanter 90pts:

Pedro Arujo’s Loureiro grapes are claimed as the region’s best, growing in low-yielding vineyards in the Lima Valley, the finest sub-region in Vinho Verde. This is a lively wine, dominated by freshness, lightness and crisp acidity, along with floral, aromatic notes

From the importer:

This little organic gem is raised only in stainless steel. It is refreshingly acidic with a surprising level of minerality, fresh citrus notes, salt and extremely subtle sweet grass notes. It is very charming and with a very low alcohol content (11%) so that you can drink many of them in one sitting! Indeed, great for a summer day with or without food, but with food, it is just perfect. As I went from restaurant to restaurant between Lisbon and Porto, I asked all of them about Quinta do Ameal. They all said without hesitation that it was the best producer in Vihno Verde. I believe it.

When I was last in Portugal, I drank Quinta do Ameal’s wines with every type of food, from slow-roasted suckling pig, braised and BBQ’d octopus, and Portuguese sea bass that was caught about 15 miles from where this wine is made. Those three dishes were the very best examples of those meats that I have ever had in my life.

The recipe here is very simple. Evening ocean breezes keep this area mild in the evening while keeping the daytime temperatures modest. The soil is made purely of granite and therefore imparts gentleness alongside of the intense acidity. The vineyards are organically farmed since the year 2000.

Quinta do Ameal is a strikingly beautiful estate that sits in the heart of the Lima Valley in the Minho region of Portugal. This is the most northerly region that borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and is separated from Spain by the Minho River to the north. Though the region is named after the river, it is in fact the “Rio Lima” that gives the region its heart and soul. The Lima Valley begins where the river meets the sea and runs east towards a progressively more mountainous terrain. The vines benefit from cool breeze that blow in from the coast. The altitudes of the vineyards get higher and the terrain become more uneven as you travel inland, giving rise to multiple micro-climates. Because of this, the valley is often divided in two sections referred to as Lower Lima and Higher Lima. The Loureiro grape (the only grape that Quinta do Ameal uses) thrives in the granite and schist soils that cover the valley and produce wines that are fine and refreshing. The locals describe the wines as “needle point” because of the racy acidity of these local white wines.

 


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Category: 2014, 90+ points, Minho



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