Review: Four Portuguese Wines from Quinta do Ameal and Quinta dos Murcas, 2021 Releases

Review: Four Portuguese Wines from Quinta do Ameal and Quinta dos Murcas, 2021 Releases

José Luis Moreira da Silva — familiarly known as “Zé Luis”  — is the colorful winemaker behind two Portuguese brands, one made in the northern Vinho Verde region, one hailing from the southern Alentejo. On a recent Zoom tasting, Ze Luis walked us through the vastly different terroir and winemaking processes involved with these four wines, two from each region. Some quick thoughts follow.

2020 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde Loureiro – Bright, fruity, and full of saline. Made from the Loureiro grape, it presents as a classic vinho verde that offers notes of melon and citrus mixed with crisp minerals. Surprisingly lengthy finish that hints at florals — but which never telegraphs its extremely level of value. A- / $15

2020 Bico Amarelo Vinho Verde – Extremely powerful with minerally bitterness, this blend of Loureiro, Alvarinho, and Avesso is punchy with sea spray, grapefruit, lemon juice, and notes of wet slate. While 2019’s version was quite floral, this citrus bomb drinks like it crawled out of the sea and took a bath in a fruit salad. Tart as hell, but lean into it and some palate-cleansing freshness awaits. B+ / $12

2018 Quinta dos Murcas Minas – A classic blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão from the Douro region. Chocolatey and heavy with a brambly plum note, this wine shows off a surprising maturity given its relative youth. As it develops in the glass, Minas reveals a sharper and more tart berry note, evoking cranberries as the finish develops. Like Quinta do Ameal, it’s not overwhelming with complexity, but that is more than made up for by its exceptional value. B+ / $19

2017 Quinta dos Murcas Assobio – Blended from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz. A simpler wine, with a less aggressive body and notes of licorice and milk chocolate at the front of the palate. It’s a bit brambly but on the sweet side as the wine winds its way to a more fruit-forward finish of cherries and blueberries. Innocuous but a bit underdeveloped. B / $12

2020 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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