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Verging on Vinho Verde

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Vinho regional Minho 2011, Alvarinho, Quinta de Gomariz ($20.20, 11895225)
Despite being a young estate (2005 was its first vintage), Quinta de Gomariz has come to be regarded as one of the region’s top producers. This cuvée is 100% Alvarinho from 11-year-old vines. Manually harvested. Fermented (with indigenous yeasts) and matured in stainless steel for seven to ten days and two months respectively. Not allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. Fined and filtered before bottling. 12.5% ABV.
White grapefruit and nectarine dusted with chalk and white pepper. In the mouth, there’s a faint spritzy tingle and a hint of sweetness on the attack that’s quickly soured by acidity. The effect is fresh and lightly fruity, like biting into a chilled green grape. A rainwatery mid-palate leads to a citrusy finish with more white pepper and lingering green apple. Simple but pure and lovely. This went well enough with grilled squid but is really waiting for snow crab season, the crustacean either served plain or dressed in a light herb vinaigrette. Can also see it working with simple Cantonese seafood dishes like fish steamed with ginger and green onions or shimp and scallop kow (stir-fried with bamboo shoots, black mushrooms and snow peas).

Written by carswell

March 12, 2013 at 08:40

3 Responses

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  1. […] brought out the wine’s sweetness and gave it weight. That said, Gomariz’s more powerful Alvarinho would probably make an even better match. And, of course, crab and dry to off-dry Riesling are a […]

  2. […] Rias Baixas 2011, O Rosal, Santiago Ruiz ($23.40, 11899605) Though run by the eponymous winemaker, the estate is owned by Bodegas LAN, itself now owned by Portugese giant Sogrape. The whimsical label is a reproduction of a hand-drawn map that Ruiz’s daughter sent to guests to show them the way to the winery for her wedding. This is a blend of Albariño (70%), Louriero (15%), Caiño Blanco (10%) and Treixadura and Godello (5%) from the 38 ha O Rosal vineyard. The grapes are macerated on their skins during a slow, soft pressing. The sediments are allowed to settle for 15 to 20 hours. The juice is then fermented at 16 to 17ºC in stainless steel tanks for around two weeks. 13% ABV. Fresh nose: lime and grapefruit zest, East Asian fruit (lychee? loquat?), faint spice and chalk dust. There are two layers to this wine. The upper layer is soft and silky, with pale sweet fruit (Asian pear) and a rainwater minerality. The lower layer is denser and drier, the fruit more citrusy, the acidity providing some bite and the stoney minerals showing a bitter edge. The upper layer makes a beguiling first impression but fades by the finish, leaving only the sterner lower layer and pushing you to take another sip to sweeten the palate. Obviously, a fine aperitif wine but with enough savour and stuffing to accompany simply prepared seafood (like my grilled spot prawns). (Buy again? Yes, though maybe not in preference to Gomariz’s benchmark – if less winey – Alvarinho.) […]

  3. […] pepper note. It could be the different contexts, but this didn’t strike me as memorable as the 2011. Still plenty good though. Would make a great match for fresh crab. (Buy again? […]

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