2020 Márcio Lopes Vinho Branco
Region: Vinho Verde < Portugal
Grapes: Trajadura + Alvarinho
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming, granitic soils; after harvesting, the grapes are transported to the winery in small boxes (18-20kg), de-stemmed, short skin maceration then the juice ferments slowly in small vat tanks; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Márcio Lopes
Márcio Lopes started as an engineer, but cut his winemaking teeth working for two years with Vinho Verde master Anselmo Mendes, then traveled to Australia where he made wine in cool climate Tasmania. He returned to his native Portugal in 2010 to start his own project in Vinho Verde, where he works his own 5 hectare estate biodynamically, and buys fruit from neighbors also farming without herbicides. Márcio's vineyards are in the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço, up the north Atlantic side of Portugal, a cool climate zone known for producing wines with freshness, minerality, great balance and longevity.
Vinho Verde wines are often mass produced and one-dimensional, but this one is quite the opposite. Sure, it's zingy, like lemon-lime soda on acid, but it's not just a one trick acid pony. There's an interesting texture, a honeycomb waxiness thing, that recalls classic Chenin and provides a bit more body to the wine. Super interesting and delicious, with way more going on than you'd expect at this pricepoint. Would make an amazing house white or sub for Sauv Blanc.