Soalheiro – Alma Mater
Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Bruno Ferreira
A history that began in the 70s when João António Cerdeira with the support of his father, António Esteves Ferreira, planted the first vineyard of Alvarinho. And so, in 1982 at Quinta de Soalheiro was born the first Alvarinho brand in Melgaço, which is nowadays managed by Maria Palmira Cerdeira and her children. An endure that was done through the generations of the Cerdeira family. This was my first contact with Alvarinho, curiously with the Soalheiro Alvarinho 1994, at the time a young man. So is case to say that with the passing of time, after the affirmation, the consecration and at last the project consolidation, comes the time for breaking new ground and challenges with the launch of new wines.
These are new ways to understand and show the Alvarinho grape variety, the first approach was the Quinta de Soalheiro from 1999 or so. More recently came the Primeiras Vinhas followed by the Reserva. And even more recent are these two releases, of which one is a première and the other is the second vintage. Debuting we have the Soalheiro Alvarinho Granit 2015, the result of a specific selection from vines planted above 150 meters in granitic soils. The fermentation was made at a temperature above normal for white wines and in stainless steel with battonage on fine lees. The goal is to show the variety’s expression as well as soil’s expression in an austere, mineral and drier side. The highlight goes to the good exuberance with focus on fruit associated with Alvarinho, a very clean profile with great elegance. The palate is lined with fruit and a solid mineral background wrapped in dryness. A very precise and focused wine, another beautiful creation from this producer.
In its second edition is the Soalheiro TerraMatter 2015, made with organically grown grapes, not subject to filtration, with the fruit being early harvested and partial malolactic in barrels of chestnut. Different and overwhelming thanks to its ability to immediately conquer us, both for the difference and the quality that is the hallmark of this house. Fantastic rendering of finesse, power and aromatic definition. There is no place for any kind of olfactory “massacre” in a focused and precise wine. Beautiful presence with still much to give, the time it lasts in the glass shows that. Dense, good volume in the mouth with elegance and freshness, with a slight sense of greasiness. A mineral palate creased in a background full of fruit flavor and freshness. In my opinion it’s better than 2014 and, as expected, it’s still very young so it will be very interesting to follow its evolution, if there are enough bottles for that.
Alvaredo . Melgaço
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