Leira Seca, Alvarinho e Trajadura, (IGP) Vinho Regional Minho (coterminous with DO Vinho Verde), Portugal, 2014.
Alvarinho is a white variety widely used in DO Vinho Verde, IGP Minho and DO Rias Baixas (Spain) where it is called albarino. It has a very thick skin which helps protect against rot in the damp coastal Atlantic climate with high rain fall and low insolation, and contributes to aromatic intensity, whilst showing high acidity from the cool climate. Varietal wines are full-bodied, with complex delicate aromas of lemon, lychee, passionfruit, peach, orange zest and jasmin; they can be consumed young, but the best will age for a decade.
Trajadura is a white variety that makes wines with lower acidity and higher alcohol than the other Vinho Verde varieties, it must be picked early to retain acidity. This makes it an ideal blending partner with the other high acidity and low alcohol varieties. It is quite aromatic, giving flavours of stone (apricot and peach) and green orchard fruit (apple and pear).
This wine: soils are free draining sand over granite, single cordon with canopy management leaf plucking to assist ripeness; a 70:30 blend of alvarinho and trajadura, coated natural cork closure, 12% abv, available UK, about £9
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium intensity, youthful, with aromas of lightly bruised green apple that soon fades, then green pear, grapefruit, a hint of lemon, a hint of warmer stone fruit, with nuances of wax and anise.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, a very low-level gummy grip, medium alcohol and medium (+) body, medium intensity, with a smooth texture, with flavours of green apple, grapefruit and lemon pith, with hints of stone fruit and gorse flower (delicate coconut-like). A long length with a clean fresh rich citrus finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, fresh and fruity, with acidity appearing on the flabby side on entry but expanding rapidly to medium (+) on the mid palate, and comes into balance with alcohol. A wine of modest intensity throughout, but with good concentration of flavour with some, yet very modest, complexity, all following through to a long length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, it has structure but neither intensity nor significant signs of complexity to develop/improve with further cellaring, leading to the conclusion that it will hold for 2-3 years but not improve, with fruit diminishing with time.