Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2016

Recommended by my Portuguese wine advisor, Frederico, this is a wine to awaken one’s day. It’s been quite a while since my last vinho verde, a lapse of judgement I shan’t soon repeat.

Made from loureiro grapes, the sheer energy of this glass is worth the (small)  price of entry. The immediate impact is from the colour; lovely green tinges in a yellow-greenish body start the party.

Then the nose – made up of herbaceous, rose-like and zesty citrus elements -give it an almost punchy character. Punchy in a kind of light-hearted, joshing kind of way. Let’s call it a sparring session between good friends.

At this point it feels easy to dismiss this wine in the standard “oh, it’s just vinho verde, beach wine” kind of way. That’s unfair. Sure, the elements are clearly pointed, which might be considered unsophisticated, but the fact that there’s so much going on here is reason enough to take a little time.

The mouthfeel is of mouthwatering acids and zip. Minerals, crisp green apple juice, lemon juice and a lingering almost chalky finish make for one helluva taste. Lasting fruit here, but no sweetness.

Begging for a salad or fresh seafood or anything light and white, I think we’ve discovered a new level of quality in an often overlooked drink.