2017 Azores Wine Co. Verdelho
Gorgeous, this is a fresh white with fine tension and a long finish. Elegant yet nicely concentrated, this is intense in a balanced way and always enlivening. It is a fine Verdelho again, one of the best. It should age well too.
This is a micro-production wine from the tiny island of Pico in the Azores. It is grown in volcanic basalt at sea level, less than 50m from the Atlantic. This terroir and the varietal imbue this wine with incredible minerality and purity, as well as unmistakable salinity. This varietal of Verdelho dates back to the original plantings in the early 17th century, and is indigenous to the Azores and Madeira. 100% Verdelho do Pico. Sustainably grown vines planted from 1984-2004. Tended in volcanic basalt at sea level, less than 50m (164 ft) from the Atlantic Ocean. Hand harvested to 40kg baskets, heavy triage, then racked to small stainless steel tanks for 6 months with extensive battonage. These tanks were laid down in the fashion of a barrel in order to facilitate battonage during lees aging. Unoaked, it comes in with 12% alcohol.
92 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. "The 2017 Verdelho Original is, emphasizes the winery, "not to be confused with Gouveio of the mainland or Verdejo of Spain. [It is a] unique grape to the islands of Portugal, Madeira and Azores. It has never been found in mainland Portugal." I repeat that every year, but it's worth doing again. An unoaked blend from three islands (80% Pico, 15% Graciosa and 5% São Miguel), it comes in with 12% alcohol. Gorgeous, this is a fresh white with fine tension and a long finish. Elegant but nicely concentrated, this is intense in a balanced way and always enlivening. It is a fine Verdelho again, one of the best in the brand so far. It should age well, but we'll take that in stages again."