João is considered by many to be the Piero Antinori of Portugal and a pioneer in the region focusing on lower yields, estate fruit, varietal character, biodiversity and sustainability. He and his family continue to innovate and more recently purchased property, planted vineyards and built a winery in the Vinho Verde, DOC. In 2013 he released the inaugural vintage of his single varietal Alvarhino.
Vinho Verde is the largest DOC located in the northwest of Portugal with 9 sub-zones so it is important to note the fruit source and for this wine the sources were chosen very carefully. The amphitheater-shaped mountain range of the region has the greatest influence on climate - the "natural shelter" that is created limits the Atlantic influence, which is characteristic of the region. Thus, in the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço there are higher average temperatures in summer (better ripening), lower humidity (less incidence of mold) and also lower average annual rainfall than in the rest of Vinho Verde region which allows the grapes to ripen harmoniously without being diluted.
Partially fermented in new French Oak barrels and the remainder is fermented in stainless steel tanks with temperature control. After a pre-fermentation maceration at low temperature, the grapes are pressed and the juice clarified. Fermentation takes place at controlled temperature of 16ºC for 2-3 weeks. 10% is fermented in new French Oak barrels.
The wine is a medium lemon color with intense aromas of white grapefruit zest combined with flint and floral notes of Paper Whites. This 100% varietal Alvarhino is elegant and engaging, with a touch of white peach skin on the palate and a long mineral finish. The partial barrel fermentation rounds out angular edges, but the racy acidity brings you back for another sip.
This mineral-driven Alvarinho makes an excellent partner for ceviche, Vietnamese-style summer rolls, Gazpacho, Greek feta, cucumber & olive salads and goat cheese & onion tart.