Visiting Portugal's Vinho Verde region, part 6
final installment of this short Vinho Verde trip was a meeting with
Pedro Araújo, the owner of Quinta do Ameal (pictured above).
I caught up with him in Porto to taste through his wines.
vies with Soalheiro for the title of Vinho Verde's top wine
producer. Pedro's wines are serious expressions of the Loureiro
vineyards were planted 18 years ago by his father, and he's been
going for 12 years on his own. 'I don't like to say I am a Vinho
Verde producer,' explains Pedro. 'I like to be known as a white wine
producer working in Vinho Verde.' It's a region dominated by big
companies working with big volumes, he explains, and this is not his
approach. While it's possible to take 15 tons/hectare with Loureiro,
he takes just five.
been organic for the last few years. 'I'm not a fundamentalist: I
just want to get better grapes.'
do Ameal Branco Loureiro Vinho Verde 2007
Lovely aromatics: overtly fruity with subtle herbiness. The
palate shows open fruity peach and pear characters. Concentrated and
rich yet fresh and intense, with a bright minerally edge. 91/100
do Ameal Escolha 2007 Minho
Vineyard selection of Loureiro fermented in French oak. Tight,
fresh, mineral nose is lemony and bright with some nutty depth. The
palate has some breadth to it. Refined and boldly flavoured with
concentration and depth. 92/100
do Ameal Escolha 2001 Minho
An older wine, from a difficult year, but it shows well.
Yellow/gold colour. Lovely aromatics: herbs, lemon and toast as well
as a hint of petrol. The palate is fresh and herby with lovely focus
and freshness. Real interest here. 92/100
wine: a dried Loureiro sweet wine from 2007 - very intense with a
grapey, volatile nose and a fresh, viscous, peachy, apricot-flavoured
palate. Stylish, spicy and intense. 92/100
older write up from 2004:
Araújo’s Ameal is a fairly serious interpretation of Vinho Verde.
His focus is on quality, in a region more commonly associated with
cheap and cheerful glugging whites, made with searing acidity in
large quantities for washing down food with. His yields are around 6
tons per hectare while the average for the region is closer to 15,
and this shows in the added concentration and poise of the wines
produced from this estate. These vineyards are in the north of the
Minho region in terroirs best suited to the Loureiro grape variety.
The Escolha is fermented and aged for 6 months in French oak, while
the Louriero is matured in inox vats. The 2002 Escolha wasn’t
showing terribly well, but the other three wines were really
do Ameal Loureiro 2001 Minho
fresh lemony nose with a gently herby edge. Good concentration on
the palate, with herbal characters and good acidity. Refreshing yet
quite serious, in a bold style. Very good+ 89/100
do Ameal Loureiro 2002 Minho
fresh herby nose with some floral notes. Delicate yet concentrated
palate is very expressive with crisp pure fruit and high acidity.
Very good/excellent 90/100
do Ameal Escolha 2001 Minho
fresh nose with subtle herby complexity. Lovely concentration on the
palate. Quite structured and mineralic, with the oak hardly obvious.
High acidity. Very good/excellent 90/100
do Ameal Escolha 2002 Minho
yeasty nose is quite youthful and a bit unusual. Palate shows lovely
richness with crisp lemony fruit. Unusual and savoury. Very good+
tasted as 11/08
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