Quinta da Raza, Vinhao, Regiao de Basto, DOC Vinho Verde, Portugal, 2015
Vinhao (aka sousao)
is a dark thick-skinned variety, giving wines of a deep hue along with high acidity. In fact the hue could be mistaken for a teinturier red-fleshed variety eg alicante bouschet, the hybrid chambourcin, or dunkelfelder. As such it is used by some port houses to add freshness in a hot vintage. Some producers create a rose from it.
This wine: varietal vinhao, pressed by foot in granite lagares, agglomerate cork closure, 12.5% abv, Ann et Vin, £13.50 (07/17)
Consumer tasting note: a fresh and fruity nose of red cherry and black berry, moderated by spicy and meaty nuances, with liquorice turning up later; medium bodied with fresh acidity and a slight spritz, with a palate of sour red cherry, black cherry and berry, with a touch of almond nuttiness. Finishes medium. Decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing coloured tears, and about 10ml of semi-solid deposit.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of raw steak, very lightly toasty, dried herbs, spicy, bright red cherry, black berry, black olive, a floral lift on vigorous swirling, bees-wax, after some time liquorice hints.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, a very low-key spritz, a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of sour red cherry, black cherry and black berry, hint of coconut, hint of almond. A medium length, with a clean fresh black berry edged with sour red cherry, lightly grippy finish, with a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: a fine balance of fresh acidity (with freshness emphasized by the slight spritz) and ripe tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious, good intensity throughout, with a similar concentration of ripe fruit; showing some complexity from time in wood and bottle, with secondary spice and toast, and a tertiary meaty, bees-wax profile, along with an oxidative nutty hint. Follows into an average length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing – whilst showing a sound structure and concentration, indicative length is not there, however it will keep for 2-3 years.