Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2020
Bright citrine. Intense, dominated by the citrus fruits and the floral aromas characteristic of the Loureiro grape variety. Vibrant and balanced with a refreshing acidity that anticipates a good evolution.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Loureiro is the grape par excellence of the Lima Valley, home to this producer. With ripe lemon and pure green-fruit flavors, the wine is both textured and bright
The 2020 Loureiro is the winery's classic version—meaning "unoaked." It comes in at 11.6% alcohol, less than 1.5 grams of sugar and 5.3 of total acidity. This is always a delight, one of the best bargains in Vinho Verde, an expressive wine that captures the flavors and aromatics of this great grape perfectly. When I smell this next to the winery's Loureiro Solo Único, they just seem completely different. That is very nice, but this seems more classic in its expression of Loureiro. (Plus, it is over $10 less expensive, so bargain hunters take note.) Frankly, even though this has not spectacularly overachieved of late, as it often has in some past vintages, I'd easily take this on merit. It just has more personality, more character, better aromatics. It's lovely and it should age well. (They always do.) Let's be conservative there for the moment. Don't be surprised if it does better than indicated.
Located in the Lima sub-region, in the Vinho Verde wine region, Quinta do Ameal is a historic property with records that date back to 1710. Extending along 800 meters of riverbank, the Estate measure approximately 30 hectares, 14 of which are occupied by organix Loureiro vineyards. Over the years, Ameal has become a pioneer in establishing the capacity of the Loureiro variety to produce high quality white wines with great ageing potential.
The combination of Quinta do Ameal’s unique characteristics, its location, granite soils, the Lime Valley’s typical climate and agricultural practices that respect nature, result in singular wines, with a character and ageing potential that reflect different expressions of the Loureiro grape variety.
A cheerful, translucid, lemon-yellow and slightly pétillant white wine, Vinho Verde literally means ‘green wine’ and is named after the northwest Portugese region from which it originates. The ‘green’ in the name refers to the youthful state in which the wines are customarily released and consumed, not the color of the wine.
It is typically a blend of various percentages of Alvarinho, Loureiro, Trajadura, and Pedernã (Arinto). Following initial alcoholic fermentation, a natural, secondary malolactic conversion in cask produces carbon dioxide, giving Vinho Verde its charmingly light sparkle.
Dating back to the late 18th century, Loureiro is native to Iberian Peninsula, grown mostly within the Minho region, though has flourished currently into neighboring Galicia. It produces a dry, high-toned, crisp white wine, redolent with aromas of white flowers and bay leaves. The grape is essential to the production of Portugeuse Vinho Verde and white blends of the Spanish region Rias Baixas. Somm Secret—The word Loureiro means “laurel” in Portugeuse, conveying the wine’s bay leaf aromatics.