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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 Casa de Cello wines on Imported by Les Caves de Pyrene.


Quinta de SanJoanne, Escolha 2004
A blend of Alvarinho, Avesso and Chardonnay, this is the current vintage on the market as João cellars the wine for six years before releasing. A real waxiness, and some oxidation, with big, dry, parcel-string character, like a maturing Hunter Valley Semillon. There is a lovely acidity in the finish of this, playing against that waxy texture. Unusual, complex, with a slightly phenolic finish. 88/100.

Quinta de SanJoanne Passi 2008
Avesso and Loureiro, with 10% alcohol and 90g/l of sugar. Very floral and leafy, almost a geranium leaf quality. Lots of lifted, bright raspberry fruit. Very attractive and real sweetness on the palate but not at all cloying or dense - delightful acidity. Great freshness and an apple juice acidity that leaves it tangy and delicious. 90/100.

And two from the Dão estate:

Quinta da Vegia, Vegia 2008
This is the entry level wine. Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Alfrocheiro. Loads of spice - cinnamon and clove - and lots of floral lift, geranium and roses and lifted black fruits. The palate has soft, earthy fruit with quite creamy texture, the palate quite crisp and racy, with a touch of liquorice raciness and plenty of edgy freshness. High acidity and lots of grippy tannin giving a gravelly, grippy note to the finish. 89/100.

Quinta da Vegia, Vegia Reserva 2007
Bottled only five weeks ago. Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, five months in oak, none of it new. Retains all that fragrance and freshness, with those floral notes, the lifted aromatic spices and fine, glossy, liquorice fruit. The palate adds an element of smoothness over the entry level wine, giving more creaminess to the texture on the mid-palate, those dry, spicy fruit tannins and the fine acidity giving it a savoury, edgy, a little leathery and chewy, but nice spicy length. 90/100.

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