The sub-zone Monção e Melgaço is inland from Portugal’s North Atlantic coast, and with a very specific microclimate, expressing less Atlanticity than the wines of the rest of the region. The wines from here have Vinho Verde’s typical freshness and minerality, but more body and flavour. 50:50 Alvarinho-Trajadura (pronounced Trajah- doo-rah; aka Albariño and Treixadura if we were in Spain) from granitic soils. Grapes are hand harvested and transported to the winery in small crates, where bunches are destemmed, followed by a short 4 hour maceration, and a slow fermentation of 15 days in small stainless tanks.
On the surface, ripe crab-apple, nashi pear, greengage and cress. Below the surface, jasmine, sage, cardamom and curry leaf give depth, charm and interest. Grassy fresh-tilled green herbs, and a touch of nutty roundness on both nose and palate and yellow sandy depth. For a light wine it has good depth and a nice pocket of roundness early, before easing to mineral-herbal line out back. It has a smooth gliding texture from the Trajadura, and a sweet-and sour grapefruit acid finish, giving the wine swing and zing.