Soalheiro’s basic Alvarinho (called Albariño just over Portugal’s northern border with Spain) is made with organically grown fruit, hand-picked into small bins then vinified cold. It delivers the contrasts I want in this grape: ample but chiseled, tropical but stony, herbaceous but also fruity. The attack is fruit-driven and the finish languorous — partly because of the wine’s characteristically substantial body — while top notes of green almond, grass, citrus, white pepper, and wet chalk add dimension. It’s a good partner for young and medium-aged cheeses and all manner of sea foods.
Compare it to the winery’s Granit bottling.
2019 Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde Monção e Melgaço
12.5% abv | $20 (sample); imported by Wine in Motion