Summer Wine Review Part 5: A great Vinho Verde

IMG_6173This time last year, I was bitching about the poor quality of a cheap Vinho Verde that seemed to be making regular appearances around our summer circuit. Not any more. At Boiceville Wines and Spirits, opposite Onteora Middle/High School, you can still get what I described last year as the “under-ripe, over-sweet and little bit sickly” Gazela for $7, but for just a dollar more, you can get the Cavipor “Mapreco” Vinho Verde, Portugal, 2009. The difference, at least to my palate, is astonishing. The wine is still inexpensive, still light in color, and still low in alcohol – useful for those hot summer weekend afternoons when you fancy a refresher but still plan on doing something important later in the day. It has that “petillance” that comes from the carbon dioxide injection and it’s suitably sharp and tangy.

But it also has several all-important ingredients for good wine. It has FLAVOR, in particular that of lemon and lime, though with some green apples lingering around too.  It has TEXTURE, laden with ample acidity though avoiding the pure fizz of the Gazela. And it has BALANCE, meaning that it feels like a proper wine from its initial aromas through to the final short finish. It’s the kind of bottle that I can pick up night after night, knowing that it’s cheap enough in price that we don’t have to save it or necessarily even finish it, but that it’s good enough that we’ll constantly savor it. In tight financial times, where good wine under $10 is increasingly hard to find, the $8 Mapreco has been my light white wine of the summer.

…And with that, I’m taking the family camping in Vermont for a week. Enjoy the backlog of concert and wine reviews, and “see you” on our return.

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October 2021