2016 Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Alvarelhão
Given LUSH's Green June is a month-long celebration of summer's perfect kind of wine - Vinho Verde - it seems right that we would mention Portuguese winemaker Anselmo Mendes twice already. Mendes is one of Portugal's most renowned oenologists, and has developed progressive practices to produce variations of region-native varietals like Alvarinho. He champions traditional techniques (such as fermentation on skins), but frequently uses them in conjunction with cutting-edge methods (such as fermenting Alvarinho in oak casks). We highlighted his work under Pássaros a few weeks back, but this week we are diving into his 2016 Alvarelhão under Muros Antigos – a delicate, sparkling wine, entirely comprised of the indigenous Portuguese grape Alvarelhão.
Alvarelhão is a red grape, but the 2016 Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Alvarelhão is gold in hue; hence, the wine is a blanc de noir. Sourced from the best vineyards of this variety, these Alvarelhão grapes were harvested somewhat early in order to ensure low sugar levels and ideal acidity. They were then pressed whole, cooled for 48 hours, and subsequently fermented in stainless steel vats for 20 days. That said, the aging period lasts five years, with an additional sparkling process of in-bottle second fermentation and 12 months of final aging. The result? Aromas of dried fruits and biscuits, fine bubbles, all with balanced acidity and a fruit arise finish.
Although sipping a slightly chilled glass of the 2016 Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Alvarelhão is a great idea for spending time under the summer sun, an accompanying LUSH charcuterie board with savory meats, nuts and cheeses can amplify the wine's fruit and biscuit flavors..