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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 Quinta do Ameal wines on wine-searcher.com. Imported by Raymond Reynolds.

QUINTA DO AMEAL

Quinta do Ameal, Loureiro 2009
Beautifully fresh with mealiness and pear fruit, touches of lemon rind and pear skin those talcum touches. There's a saline tang of minerality on the palate and lots of pure, long, limey fruit. Pedro thinks the vines are now in perfect balance. 89/100.

Quinta do Ameal, Escolha 2008
Again, 100% Loureiro, for this wine fermented in used oak barriques. Has a little more openness and richness, more herbal notes too and has a richer, much oilier texture, with lots of grapefruit skin richness and tang, and plenty of lime and grapefruit brilliance to the flavour, the lovely acidity pushing through giving this real bite and length in the finish. 91/100.

Quinta do Ameal, Escolha 2003
Deep colour but still green. Beautifully fruity nose, with lots of limes and wax, very Riesling-like. Little herby notes, but the fruit is ripe and orangy, with lots of flesh and a sweetness, the clarity and precision of the acidity and fruit still perfectly pitched. 91/100.

Quinta do Ameal, Espumante 2002
Made from the Arinto grape, this has three years in vat then three more in bottle for second fermentation, which for this vintage finished at end of 2008. Toasty, buttery with lots of brioche and nettle notes. On the palate a big, powerful wine with bruised apple fruit and lots of leesy richness. Outstanding stuff that will split the jury into lovers and haters. 90/100.

Quinta do Ameal, Special Late Harvest 2007
A passito method (dried grape) Loureiro with 12% alcohol and five months of drying. Fabulous nose, with cream and vanilla and lots of barley sugar creaminess, crème brûlée touches. The palate has absolutely delicious balance - the sweet, full fruit has a real sense of dryness with creamy texture and glycerine richness, but fantastic acidity balances the 180 grams of sugar. Toasty, orangy, delightful. 92/100.

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