Alvarinho + Age = Absolutely



I almost drop the bottle when I stand there at the Vinho Verde section at Sá. My favourite producer of Alvarinho, Quinta do Feital, is retailed at EUR 13! Would it be the latest vintage it’s sure a nice price but the bottle I’m holding actually says 2002! First, some doubts run through my mind; this is probably a left over which has stood here some years, and hence tastes old and oxidized. But, 13 Euro’s is not the end of the world, and no one remembers a coward, so later that evening the bottle is popped.
For those of you who has not yet tasted, Quinta do Feital, is a Vinho Verde from the sub region of Moncao where Alvarinho is the only approved grape for the sub region’s green wine. The owner and winemaker, Marcial Dorado, has found a perfect mixture of the very best from both sides of the border. No question about it; the Spanish Albarino region of Rias Baixas has a renommé that the Portuguese Alvarinho’s hasn’t reach yet. But that shouldn’t stop you; instead thank the anonymity for keeping prices more humane, because the Portuguese version is just as good as the Spanish. Should be something of a acidity fanatic as I am, well, then start popping Vinho Verde Alvarinho’s!
From old vines Marcial produces the Dorado which spends a short time on oak. It adds creaminess to the steely Alvarinho, and also texture to make it more internationally styled. Still, it’s no doubt it’s from Iberia.
Bottle in perfect condition! The wine has a fine mature yellow colour to it and the bouquet is as complex as Alvarinho gets. Wet rocks, a floral touch, over ripe apples, asparges, fennel in a wonderful mix. Fine creamy taste with plenty of minerally acidity reminding a bit of a mature Pouilly-Fumé, and a dry, long taste with notes of apples, fennel and grass. Not nearby passed its best before date, this seducer still has one or two years left.
If this is how an aged Dorado tastes I can’t wait to have the 2007 with eight years maturity – in my opinion the best vintage ever for Quinta do Feital!
(2002 Quinta do Feital, Dorado, Moncao, Vinho Verde, 92 p)
  • Grapejuices

    >Nicklas, Very interesting post on older Alvarinho. Despite that i have seen numerous of wine shops in Portugal, i have missed to come across Quinta do Feital. I read your post as a clear recommendation, and would like to try older alvarinho. Where exactly do you buy these bottles?

  • Niklas Jörgensen

    >This one was a real find and nothing I bump in to that often! In Funchal, on the Vinho Verde shelves, there stood some bottles left of the 2002 and at that price I couldn't resist it. Normally the Dorado is retailing in the latest vintage at around 13-14 EUR in Portugal. Otherwise I have bought Qta do Feital's Dorado from Garrafeira Nacional in Lisboa and you can now also buy it in Sweden (you have to pre-order it though from the importer which also retails the lovely Qta do Feital's Auratus which is a blend of Trajadura and Alvarinho).

    If you can find the 2007 Dorado I recommend you buy some bottles. It is very young but so promising. Quite a different style from Soalheiro and Anselmo Mendes wines for example. I believe simply, a more ageworthy wine.

    I think that Marcial Dorado makes around 5000 cases of the wine (Dorado) so you should be able to find it.

    Links for you:


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