These two Vinho Verde wines from Portugal’s Quinta do Ameal are newly available in the U.S. Both are built around the Loureiro grape, a grape indigenous to this reason which is said to make wines that have aromas resembling laurel flowers. Traditionally blended, it also appears in this duo as a 100% varietal wine.
2019 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde Loureiro – 100% Loureiro, made entirely from estate-grown fruit. Quite tart and acidic, this wine is loaded with notes of grapefruit, lemon peel, and an edge of lime. Some mineral and slate notes hit on the back end, but they’re quickly overwhelmed by the acidity of the citrus elements. On its own this wine can be a little aggressive, so pair it with a food that could benefit from some acidity to cut through it. B+ / $18
2019 Bico Amarelo Vinho Verde – This is the debut of this wine, a blend of 40% Loureiro grapes from Quinta do Ameal, plus 30% each of Alvarinho and Avesso sourced from nearby growers. Strongly aromatic, this wine hits the palate like a more astringent version of Viognier, full of ripe peaches and apricots, tempered by notes of potpourri and white flowers. A bit flat on the finish, but otherwise a great bargain. B+ / $12