Goode: Vinho Verde has upped its game13th July, 2011 by Lucy Shaw
Portugese wine specialist Dr Jamie Goode has spoken of the dramatic quality improvements in Portugal’s Vinho Verde region.
Speaking at the Vinho Verde tasting yesterday in London’s Tower Hill, Goode told the drinks business: “Vinho Verde wines used to be inexpensive, inconsequential gluggers with a bit of spritz, but the region has changed dramatically recently.
“The viticulture is improving and the winemakers are getting more ambitious, using their terroirs and indigenous varieties such as Loureiro and Alvarinho to produce some really interesting dry white wines.”
The Vinho Verde wine commission has embarked on a €5 million international promotional campaign following a boom in global exports, which reached a record €36m last year.
While the US and Germany remain the region’s top export markets, Goode believes Vinho Verde’s low alcohol, fresh style makes them ideal for the UK market.
“They are very contemporary wines that fit with modern tastes,” he said. “The more modern styles are intrinsically fresh and slightly higher in alcohol, leading to more complex, flavour-intense wines.”
Goode believes the deliberate injection of CO2 into the wines is a bad thing, and something the region needs to move away from: “Producers shouldn’t rely on CO2, it can be offputting for the consumer to open what they think is a still wine and find fizz.”
Aside from the whites, Goode thinks the region’s reds have a bright future.
“Red Vinho Verde is very unusual and offers a point of difference,” he said. “They’re Marmite wines; you either love them or hate them. They’re raw, rustic and almost unfinished, but I think they have a big future due to their freshness and vivacity.”