Monday, November 5, 2012
Conde Villar Rosé Vinho Verde: Mineralic Fizzy Goodness
Quinta de Villar is one of the three properties in the Vinho Verde appellation owned by Quinta das Arcas. Located in the municipality of Penafiel, just east of the city of Porto, the property consists of 74 acres of vineyards planted mostly to Vinhão and Espadeiro grapes on granitic soil.
The latter grape is used to make the Conde Villar Rosé. Espadeiro (Jancis Robinson spells it “Espadeira”) is also known as Tinta Amarella in the Douro and Trincadeira Preta in southern Portugal. In the Quinta de Villar vineyards, grapes are hand-picked, followed as quickly as possible by fermentation. This encourages the production of fresh aromas in the finished wine. The tech sheet says the grapes are destemmed followed by carbonic maceration; it must be quite a trick to keep the berries intact.
Conde Villar Rosé Vinho Verde 2011: Aromas of fresh red berries are followed by a mouthful of mineralic fizzy goodness. It is amusing to think that a port grape like Espadeiro can also produce this light (11.5% alcohol) fizzy beverage. Yes, this is definitely an ideal warm-weather drink, but it tastes just fine in November, too. (Here's a link to a column by Eric Asimov on the unfortunate marketing of rosé wine as a “summer accessory.”)
Conde Villar Rosé is still available at Table Wine; I think it's $9.99/bottle.