The Vinho Verde DOC is the largest wine producing region of Portugal and is located in the area known as Minho in the upper Northwest. While this Twin Vines selection was a white wine (from green grapes, I thought?), the term Verde is meant to denote “young” rather than the color “green.” As a result, it seems a Vinho Verde could be red, white or rosé. And if I wasn’t confused enough by that … According to the folks at Fonseca, “Vinho Verde is made from one or a combination of twenty five different white grapes. The best and most popular varieties are Alvarinho, Trajadura, Louriro and Pederña.” The good people over at winesofportugal.com, on the other hand, indicate that the “Main white grapes (varying according to sub-region) [are] Alvarinho, Arinto Avesso, Azal, Loureiro and Trajadura.” They go on to say the “Main red grapes (varying according to sub-region) [are] Alvarelhão, Amaral, Borraçal, Espadeiro, Padeiro, Pedral, Rabo de Anho and Vinhão.” Unfortunately, neither the bottle nor the Fonseca website indicates which grapes were used in this Twin Vines Vinho Verde.
Winemaker: J.M. Fonseca
Wine: Twin Vines Vinho Verde
Varietal: White Blend
Appellation: Vinho Verde, Portugal DOC
Price: $7.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: The color of this Portuguese offering was a light lemon yellow. On the nose I caught a faint scent of green apple with floral notes. The body of this Fonseca white blend was light, acidity was good – balancing the residual sweetness nicely – and alcohol was at 10%. On first pour, this Vinho Verde was characteristically very frothy and bubbly, although the effervescence quickly subsided. On the tongue I tasted gentle flavors of green apple and sweet grapefruit. As the wine traversed the palate it also brought a slight chalkiness. On the finish I found grass, lingering grapefruit and a hint of cucumber. This selection was a nice surprise for me. Not being well versed in Portuguese wines, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since, unlike previous iterations of Twin Vines, this was a non-vintage bottling. And given the lack of specifics, I’m still not certain exactly what I had. But that’s OK. I guess it’ll remain one of life’s little mysteries … unless someone out there can enlighten me.