Marques de Lara, Vinho Verde
£10.50

Country : Portugal

Grape Varieties : Loureiro; Avesso; Arinto.

Light in alcohol, with fresh green apple fruit, a very slight spritz and just a touch of residual sugar. A great summer wine, but equally enjoyable with good company and a selection of snacks on a wintry Saturday night.

Tasting Note : Light floral and green fruits on the nose. The palate is light and refreshing, with tropical and apple fruit, a light spritz, crisp acidity and an off-dry finish.

Food Pairing : Enjoy as an aperitif with nuts and olives; light salads; grilled sardines.

More info : Vinho Verde literally means 'green wine' and refers to the traditionally low alcohol, high acidity wines that are characteristic of this region in the far north of Portugal. Cool Atlantic breezes slow the ripening process and help the grapes retain their natural acidity. The vines are traditionally trained high on trellises, with other crops grown underneath, although this practice is not always followed today. The slight petillance traditionally came from the malolactic fermentation taking place in bottle; however, nowadays producers introduce the slight sparkle with carbonation to retain the clarity and freshness of the wine. The wines are characterised by relatively low alcohol, high acidity and a touch of sweetness.

Winery : This wine is produced by Casa de Vila Nova on the Eastern edge of the Vinho Verde region. The estate has been owned by the aristocratic Lencastre family since the 12th century, but it was only in the 1970s that vines were first planted here. Since then, the current generation have extended the area under vine to 42 hectares, have extensively replanted the existing vineyards and have introduced their own bottling and winemaking facilities. Their products bring a modern take to traditional Portuguese grape varieties.