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Vinho Verde Tasting Notes

text and photographs © 2010 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on The Wines of Vinho Verde. See all UK stockists of Anselmo Mendes wines on wine-searcher.com. Imported into the UK by Atlantico.

ANSELMO MENDES

Muros Antigos, Alvarinho 2009
70% Alvarinho with Loureiro. Very fine talcum notes, with good, concentrated pear and melon skin fruit. Really punchy palate, with lots of juicy lemon and lime fruit and pithy acidity. Lovely stuff - grippy but fresh. 89/100.

Muros Antigos, Loureiro 2009
Pear and melon fruit, with waxy lemon notes. Nice underlying mealiness, bursting with fruit onto the palate with lovely acidity focused on juicy lemons and no phenolics, just that sense of rich texture. Simpler than the Alvarinho perhaps, but more exuberant in style. 89/100.

Muros Antigos, Alvarinho 2005
Absolutely fabulous stuff with lime and toast, all the phenolics have dissipated, the palate has exquisite minerality, with such refinement and harmony. Delicious, natural stuff that shows how this grape is capable of ageing. 92/100.

Anselmo Mendes, Alvarinho Contacto 2009
Long pre-ferment cold soak then whole bunches go in to the ferment. Melon skins, grapefruit skins, lots of fruit here. The fruit has a waxy edge on the palate, with a searing core of lime and intense, textural weight, juicy acidity, a lick of saltiness and delicious fruit. A beautiful wine with elegance and huge intensity. 92/100.

Muros de Melgaço, Alvarinho 2009
Fermented and aged in French oak, 10% new, but no toast - barrels scraped to remove any hint of toast. Creamy, buttery notes, but very lightly so. The palate has a huge core of fruit: oranges and grapefruit, with terrific fruit and great persistence in the mouth. Ripe, grippy, structured. 91/100

Anselmo Mendes, Curtimenta 2009
This is "Made like red wine," according to Anselmo with two days fermenting with skins then nine months in older 400 litre barrels. Big wine, with masses of ripe fruit, that leesy, skinny, ripe fruit buttressed by softening oak notes, but a very vital core of fruit. The palate full of grippy, structural fruit. Mid palate density and lovely point in the finish. 93/100.

Anselmo Mendes, Curtimenta 2005
"Higher tannins that most Pinot Noir," according to Anselmo. Ripe, buttery, but remarkably fresh with a minerality that makes it almost Graves-like, with Sémillon notes of lemon and a certain nuttiness. 90/100.

Anselmo Mendes, Anselmo 2009
First year project, from a small parcel that every year for 10 years has been the best Alvarinho. Skin contact at 12 degrees and ageing six months in large oak barrels. Delightfully refined, supple, very refined with delicious fruit: lots of vivid citrus, yellow plum and big, grippy finish with a bit of tannin and lovely fresh acids. 93/100.

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