I t ain't easy being green. It ain't easy being Vinho Verde—the so-called "green wine" of Portugal—either. Why not? The name is charming, but it can be a little confusing to consumers, since "green" merely alludes to the wine's young age and not its color. In fact, Vinho Verde—whether white, red, or rosé—is intended to be youthful and consumed soon after bottling.

Some Vinhos Verdes have a slight fizz, while others are full-on sparkling. And unlike wines whose names identify their varietal or geographic origin, the term Vinho Verde doesn't necessarily give you any sense of what's in the bottle. The wine is produced in Minho, Portugal's largest wine region (in the northeastern part of the country), and can be made from a half-dozen different grapes, so it's not a shock that a tasting of Vinho Verde can literally be all over the place.

The full gamut of possibilities was on display when I sampled 26 bottles recently, the majority of which were white, the most prolific Vinho Verde option. Alvarinho, the Portuguese version of Spain's Albariño, is the grape producers most commonly use. The characteristic linking all the wines I tasted is a tartness that ranges from fresh and delightful to downright bracing. I'm not going to lie: A couple of them baffled me. But six hit their mark well, though in characteristically very different ways. Four of those winners cost no more than $13, putting Vinho Verde smack-dab in the middle of a wallet-friendly zone—as long as you pick carefully.

In the wine world, it's the producer that matters most. Don't sweat vintages or even grapes, and certainly not details such as how much a wine was oaked. Pay attention to the folks making it. Generally, if they know what they're doing with one bottle, they will do so across grapes and years.

For instance, the people running Afros, a quinta (winery) held by the same family since the 17th century, are quite adept at sparkling wines. Afros Sparkling Loureiro Reserve 2007 ($22)—a white with a surprising amount of age on it, given the verde youth theme—transports you on the nose to a flowering apricot tree and has a distinct elderflower character. At $22, this Vinho Verde is on the pricey side, but Afros' wines really stood out for me. The winery's red sparkler, Afros Vinho Verde Sparkling Vinhão Reserve 2006 ($22), is a tart cranberry fizz bomb that I would drink in place of a Lambrusco, and with something medium-spicy, like Chicken in Mole, Puebla Style. Overall, the whites from this region are more successful, so consider this bottle the exception that proves the rule.

Another estate that produced two fine bottles, both clocking in at the very nice price of $13, is Quinta de Gomariz. The best wine in the entire tasting was Quinta de Gomariz Vinho Verde QG Loureiro 2011 ($13), a white wine with an intense middle palate of ripe mango and a nice medium-length finish leading to fresh citrus flavors. Work the fruit angle with a food pairing such as Mango and Shrimp Wraps.

Nothing says summer like watermelon and roses, and I found both notes in the winery's other entry, Quinta de Gomariz Vinho Verde QG Espadeiro 2011 ($13). This rosé is the color of a pale orange sunrise, and I think it has the acidity to work as a good salad pairing, too, especially with Watermelon and Tomato and Mint Salad.

Quintas das Arcas Arca Nova Branco Vinho Verde 2011 ($10) is doing a good impression of a Riesling. There's a light peach note, and it's very bright and crisp. Why not give this wine a try alongside a bowl of Classic Andalusian Gazpacho?

Certainly the value-of-the-month award goes to Hera Vinho Verde Branco 2011 ($8), perhaps the least expensive wine I have recommended in this column to date. It has the slightest effervescence and hints of tart blood orange. While delicate in body, it also means business. Contrast it with a medium-sweet dessert like Three Grape Sorbets and sit back in a comfy patio chair. That's the taste of summer.

Have you tried Vinho Verde? Red, white, or rosé, and what did you serve with it? Hit me up on Twitter @LoosLips or @epicurious on Twitter.

Ted Loos, a former editor of Wine Spectator, has written about wine for Bon Appétit, Decanter, Town & Country, and many other publications. He also covers design and the arts for The New York Times, Vogue, and Architectural Digest, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @LoosLips

See the Original Article at Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/drinking/wine/tasting-notes-vinho-verde-portuguese#ixzz22QIfjGCT

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La pasada semana se han dado a conocer los premiados en dos de los concursos mas importantes del mundo, el International Wine Challenge y el Decanter World Wine Awards, donde año tras año la calidad de nuestros vinos es reconocida.

En este año 2012 hemos recibido 2 medallas en cada uno: Oro para Fulget 2011 y Plata para Maior de Mendoza 2010 en el IWC y en Decanter, 2 Bronces uno para Fulget 2011 y otro para Maior de Mendoza 2010.


Past week, the results of two of the most important wine contests were released, International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine Awards, where year after year, the quality of our wines is recognized.

In this 2012 edition, we received Gold for Fulget 2011 and Silver for Maior de Mendoza 2010 at the IWC and 2 Bronzes for Fulget 2011 and Maior de Mendoza 2010 at Decanter.

Atlantans, meet your new summer white wine. Introducing Hera Vinho Verde Branco, a refreshing wine from Portugal that is now available in Georgia.
Vinho Verde is a type of wine produced in northwest Portugal. The name translates to “green wine,” which refers to the wine’s youth, not color. Vinho Verde wines can be white (branco in Portuguese), red or rosé, and are meant to be enjoyed young (typically within a year of bottling).

From the pool to the picnic, Hera Vinho Verde Branco is your go-to white wine. With fresh acidity, a slight effervescence and a lower alcohol content, this wine is perfect for an afternoon outdoors.

Hera Branco is made mainly from Loureiro grapes (85%), the principal variety in the region. Making up the remaining 15% are equal parts Trajadura and Arinto grapes.

Hera Branco is extremely pale straw yellow in color with a touch of green. Tart citrus and melon aromas introduce a crisp and refreshing palate. Flavors of lime, white grapefruit, green pear, honeydew and white flowers culminate in a clean finish. A slight effervescence and racy acidity give the wine a pleasant and light mouthfeel. Some residual sugar balances out the acidity, rounding out the wine and making it easy to sip.

Hera Vinho Verde Branco is great as an aperitif, and can pair well with a variety of summer dishes – salads, shellfish, grilled chicken and fish. The wine has a screw top so no need to remember the corkscrew.

Yet another reason why you’ll want to make this your summer sipping wine – Hera Vinho Verde Branco is extremely budget friendly, costing between $8 and $9 a bottle.

Hera Vinho Verde Branco should be served between 48°F and 50°F.

10% alcohol by volume

See the article in its entirety at http://amateurgastronomer.com.

The Best Of Wine Tourism 2012 awards ceremony took place on 18th April, at the Town Hall, in the D. Maria Room.

The winners of the Best Of Wine Tourism awards in 2012 are:

  • International Award - Quinta do Portal – Architecture and Ladscapes
  • National Awards (by alphabetical order) - Casa Semarkinhas - Accomodation; Caves Offley –Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences; Solar de Merufe – Sustainable Wine Tourism practices

The Best Of Wine Tourism is, since 2003, promoted by the Porto City Council, in representation of the wine regions of Porto and Douro and of Vinhos Verdes, as members of the international Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

Click here for further information!

One of the latest offerings on the market from the Douro wine producers

"An elegant, structured, fine wine" was how Wine Enthusiast, the prestigious North American magazine for wine lovers, described the Portal Colheita Tinto 2009, one of the latest offerings on the market from the Douro wine producer.

The team of tasters decided to award 93 points to the wine, the highest score given by the magazine in the <> category. The publication states that "The Portal Colheita Tinto 2009 will age well in the bottle," highlighting its "excellent acidity, firm tannins and aromas of red fruit." A fresh, fruity wine such as only the Douro and Quinta do Portal know how to produce, it is made from 60% Tinta Roriz grapes, together with Touriga Nacional (25%) and Touriga Franca (15%) grape varieties.

The wine can be found on the market for a basic price of around 15 euros and is the perfect accompaniment for meat and game dishes, with the added advantage that it can be included in vegetarian menus. It is, however, versatile enough to harmonise with a wide variety of dishes. A total of 90,600 bottles are available for sale on the market.

See the article as it originally appears in pdf

On Friday night, October 14, wine-lovers gathered at Mile High Station in Denver to taste 68 wines from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. The event was sponsored by Bottlenotes, an online wine community. Bottlenotes features wine education through its Daily Sip e-newsletter, interactive wine ratings and tasting notes through its My Bottlenotes page, wine acquisition through its partner Sherry-Lehmann, and wine tasting at its Around the World in 80 Sips events for wine-lovers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Denver, and Washington, DC. Tweeters were able to follow the event on large TV screens posititioned around the room that displayed the live Twitter feed.

The format of Around the World in 80 Sips was similar to the monthly wine tastings offered by Denver’s Argonaut Wine & Liquor. Tables of wine lined the perimeter of the room, and wine-lovers sipped from table to table. The day of the event, Bottlenotes sent a reminder email titled “Tips for 80 Sips Tonight,” which encouraged sippers to devise a tasting strategy; the hyperlink took users to the online tasting list for the event. This list was sortable by price point, region, most noted, top rated, varietal, and alphabetical. Like the Argonaut tastings, Bottlenotes offered a list of the wines that listed price points and had room to write tasting notes. While the wine tables at Argonaut tastings are usually hosted by representatives from wine distributors, the tables at Around the World in 80 Sips were hosted by winemakers and other winery representatives.

Executive chef Morgan-leigh Norman, Greg Norman’s daughter, greeted sippers at the Greg Norman Wine Estates table. Both of its Australian Shiraz offerings were round and vibrant, especially the Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2006. The Greg Norman Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2009 had balanced oak, butter, and acidity. Ms. Norman offered sippers copies of the family’s roasted chicken recipe, noting its recommended pairing with the Greg Norman Eden Valley Chardonnay or Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.

Terry Spector and Ulysees Preciado from Clos Du Val Winery were on hand to guide sippers through their wines. While the full selection of six wines was definitely worth tasting to appreciate the Clos Du Val’s Bordeaux style of winemaking, there were two highlights. The Clos Du Val Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 was an elegant, subtle, beautifully extracted wine that would pair well with lamb and beef. The Taltarni Vineyards Brut Taché 2008 was a yeasty, salmon-colored sparkler from Australia.

Stopping at the Vinho Verde table of Portuguese wines was a highlight. Their sparkler, Broadbent Vinho Verde NV, tasted like a lime-infused spritzer. The HERA Grande Escolha Vinho Verde, made from 100% Loureiro grapes, was fresh and mildly astringent, and would pair well shellfish. All six wines were worth a sip.

Winemaker Stephanie Lopez hosted the Buscador Wines table. Buscador means “searcher.” Stephanie and her husband, Matt Kowalczyk, offered those searching for new wine experiences a fine New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc and a rich Grenache. The star was a big, bold, beautiful Petite Sirah that smelled of oak and vanilla and delivered blackberry and cassis on the palate. Definitely one of the event’s top sips!

Artisanal Premium Cheese shared samples of its Camembert, Aged Cheddar, and Valdeon cheeses. Other nibbles included various spreads, dips, crackers, and tortilla chips. This sipper would have preferred a larger buffet with more offerings of cheeses. More snacks enables more sipping.

The next Around the World in 80 Sips event is planned for November 4 at Espace in New York City. The next Argonaut Wine & Liquors tasting is scheduled for October 25 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Park Hill Golf Course in Denver. It will feature champagnes and sparkling wines.


>Link to Original Article

The past week our oenologist Cristina Mantilla, received the certification of the maximum distinction given by the Gallaecia Association to the best galician wines. The event toock place at the Mugartegui Palace. The awarded wine was Maior de Mendoza on lees 2010.

Another of our wines the 3 Crianzas 2009, was also recognised by Gallaecia as one of the best galician wines with 93 points.

This awards are given by the galician sommelier association "Gallaecia", that every year select the best galician wines during several blind tasting series. This is the third consecutive year that one of our wines gets their maximum distinction.

In Hong Kong, took place the "Restaurant & Bar, Hong Kong House Wine Awards". This event selects the best house wines and our Fulget 2010 received the Gold prize.

In Germany, was celebrated the famous Mundus-Vini wine contest, one of the most important in Europe. There Fulget 2010 received the Silver Medal. This is the fifth consecutive year that one or several of our wines, are awarded in this important wine concourse.

Marta Vazquez.
Adega Maior de Mendoza SL

As featured in Sommelier Journal: (See the full article here)

Quinta do Portal 2005 $19

Unfiltered; bottled 2009. The fine, exotic nose is accented by violets, spice, mocha, raisin, and black cherry. Rich as crude oil, but not jammy, the palate has a captivating concentration of fruit that’s impressive for an LBV. So massive that it’s almost intimidating, yet elegant to the core thanks to round, polished tannins and prolific acidity, it shows both power and class with an everlasting finish—the stuff dreams are made of. Possibly the finest young LBV I’ve ever opened. Be sure to decant it for at least four to six hours; it will drink better by the second or third day, if not the second week, after opening. Stick a case in the cellar for a good decade or two.

Champagne may have ridden a roller coaster in the U.S. market over the past few years, but its lower-profile counterpart, Cava, has enjoyed stronger and more consistent growth. Even after a solid performance in 2010, U.S. Champagne depletions were still more than 20% down from 2007, according to Impact Databank. Cava, meanwhile, has actually gained ground during the economic downturn.

“The downturn has helped us. Our main customer has, for the most part, stayed with our brand because the pricing is still competitive at well under $10 retail per bottle,” says Vince Friend, president of CIV USA, which imports Cristalino, the market’s second-leading (and fastest-growing) Cava brand. “A lot of consumers who no longer had the budget to buy higher-priced sparklers began buying Cristalino.”



by Dr. Luis Antunes

In times of crisis some people rise to their best, turning dire straits into great opportunities. The Portuguese wine industry seems to be at such a moment. Paulo Amorim, president of the G7, the association of the seven largest domestic wine companies, has expecteded this for several years. Amorim is the former sales director of G7 member Aveleda and president of the National Association of Exporters of Wine and
Spirits (ANCEVE). Having spent four years in the Porto business, 25 years with Vinho Verde and 16 years in the Douro, he truly understands the Portuguese wine scene. The recent major acquisitions by Joe Berardo are, he believes, the natural consequence of the current state of affairs.


Paulo Amorim, President of the G7 group of Portuguese wineries and vice-president of the generic body Viniportugal, is featured in this Wine Business article, Faces from Vinexpo.

"Paulo Amorim plans to build a new winery near Redondo in the Altenjo. His partner is Luis Duarte, who has worked at Esporao the Alentejo. The company will be called Wine Vision, and will produce wine from the Alentejo, Duoro and Vinho Verde.

See the full article from Wine Business Magazine

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