Bordering the Cávado River, near Braga in the north-western sub-region of the
larger Vinho Verde DOC, with a damp, near-Atlantic coastal climate, grapes are
grown among forested hillsides that line the misty valleys. Of necessity these are
very fast maturing, fairly fragrant white wine varieties, more-typically cultivated
in an overhead canopy style of trellis, lessening the chance of fungal disease, due
to elevated moisture levels. This vintner employs a lower-level, so-called Unilateral Cordon (or Cordon de Royat in French – who pioneered this method) since these
issues are less-prevalent in the Minho zone.
Winemaker Alavaro van Zeller, has his experienced hands and stamp on this
week’s DéClassé recommended varietal creation using 100% Loureiro grape
content. It’s purported namesake comes from an association to laurel flowers,
acacia, lime and orange blossoms – in the prolific form of green-yellow bunches.
On the heels of a September harvest, the resulting must ferments and is stored
for a time in stainless steel vats to yield up a fresh and crisp wine style unique to
its source vineyards. In turn, these surround the central manor house ‘Solar’ set
in among the woods ‘Bouças’, inspiring this bottle’s catchy title.
Vinho Verde still too often, literally, construed as a ‘green’ wine; it’s more-likely
intending to reference that it is ‘young’ wine – decidedly a key facet of its charm.
Though well-known in Europe, North American consumers have been slow in
coming to appreciate its placement in the pantheon of white wine styles. Low
alcohol content means that it can be experienced and enjoyed in more-liberal
quantity but of course, not without a reasonable restraint!
For added emphasis, this bottling was selected as #1 of 50 great Portuguese
Wines in 2014 by lead editor Joshua Greene in Wine and Spirits magazine. A
significant endorsement for such an affordably priced offering.
SOLAR DAS BOUÇAS LOUREIRO 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #221036 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 13.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Vinho Verde, Portugal
By: Baroa De Vilar
Release Date: Oct. 11, 2014
Light, low alcohol, fruity and ever-so sparkling (‘petillant’), this wine has a pleasing
acidity akin to pears with a hint of citrus. Certainly this is appropriate to serve
as apéritif or with all manner of white meats, pasta and fresh fish dishes.