BONE DRY PORTUGUESE WHITE
Alvarinho Contacto Vinho Verde 2020
Anselmo Mendes is simply put, one of Portugal’s most exalted winemakers. Like his Spanish counterpart Raul Perez he quite literally revolutionized quality winemaking in Vinho Verde. His tiny family estate has propelled this terroir – and the indigenous grapes grown here – to the next level, with wines that go beyond pleasant, salty, and easy drinking into new, more profound territory.
Perhaps the most important distinction to his wines is that they are bone dry whites, and are made with no fizz. This allows the terroir and minerality to shine bright and provides for some of the greatest value for those that love Chablis, Muscadet or really, any mouthwatering white with a shimmering mineral footprint.
The Contacto Alvarinho is made from 100% Alvarinho grown in vineyards along the Minho river and the time left in contact with the skins is what gives the wine its name, and defining character. It exudes the piercing mineral finish we love from this region, is bone dry, and has incredible depth and weight that makes it perfect for pairing with rich seafood like Tuna, swordfish and even some light white meats.
What the Critics Say:
“This is often one of the best value points in Vinho Verde. The price is right, making this a no-brainer purchase.”
Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate, May 2020
94 Points (Current Vintage)
Wine & Spirits Magazine, Aug 2021
93 Points / Top 100 Wines of 2020 (2019 Vintage)
Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast
Alvarinho Contacto Vinho Verde 2020: Characteristics
BODY / STYLE / OAK / Medium-bodied / fresh, crisp, floral, fruity, mineral / oaked
SWEETNESS / Extra Dry
CELLARING / Drink now or cellar
BEST PAIRINGS / Hard Cheese, Oysters, Pasta with Cream Sauce, Rich Fish, Risotto, Salad, Scallop, Shellfish
TASTING NOTE / “Anselmo Mendes plays with a short maceration with the grape skins in Contacto, using fruit from parcels close to the Minho River where the granitic soils are packed with small alluvial stones. The wine hits in 2020 with a powerful and long-lived alvarinho that smells great the moment it’s poured. And its dry, mouthwatering flavors only get more structured and detailed with air. Initially saturated with dried-fruit notes of peach and mango, that fruit extends into juiciness, creating tension with the austerity of the soil-driven structure. Delicious now, this will be better in a year and fascinating with five or six years in bottle.”
Alvarinho Contacto Vinho Verde 2020: The Producer
Anselmo Mendes began producing wine with Alvarinho grapes in 1998, in Monção and Melgaço. The winery in the Minho Valley is a place for experimentation and research, where Anselmo Mendes passion for the wine and the region takes shape and flavour. It is a place of reinvention, making each wine an expression of the land at its most sublime, a cultural trait, a mark of character.
This wine is made, unusually for Vinho Verde, using skin contact. That gives it an extra dimension of richness and fullness. The wine’s apple flavours have concentration and, along with the texture, suggest excellent potential for aging.
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