Half a year ago I tasted the 2013 Expressões for the first time, a new top label from Anselmo Mendes in the sub-region of Moncão e Melgaço in Vinho Verde. Just as is the case with his other two premium wines, Curtimenta and Parcela Unica, the Expressões sees used French oak. The 2013 stayed 9 months in the barrel. So, how does it differ from the others?
Anselmo’s even more careful with the battonage on this one – and the oxygen level in the barrel. He told me that only when the level of air in the barrel was at a minimum, they did a gentle battonage. Why? Because Alvarinho doesn’t fit for a too aggressive stirring of the lees. The creaminess which it results in is not what he seeks and furthermore, too much battonage reduces the ageability of the wine. So the 2013 shows steely minerality and marked acidity. The oak is gentle but needs a further one or two years to fully integrate with the other components. But it’s such a lovely wine, with unripe tropical fruits, green apples, a discrete floral nose and that wet rocks feel which I often find in his wines. Graceful and with fine intensity on the palate. Pure finale. A food wine. It should age well for 7-8 years.
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(2013 Expressões, Anselmo Mendes: 91 p. Drink it between 2016-2021)