Sunday, 29 June 2008

Grape Varieties

Quite a few cuts above the more vin ordinaire from this part of the world. The yields are kept sensible and the fruit for this is tank fermented to keep things fresh. Neither of these varieties (Roupeiro and Antao Vaz) are thought to be particularly noteworthy usually but as always, a little care and attention in the vineyard can go a very long way in the glass.

This snippet from the website of one of my favourite London wine merchants, Green and Blue, goes to the heart of my Wine Beliefs; there is a wealth of little-known grape varieties which provide much more interest than so-called expressions of terroir in countless versions of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The reasons why they have not succeeded may not have anything to do with their intrinsic quality. They may be difficult to grow such as the Ramisco grown in sand in Colares, Portugal. They may have not achieved their best expression in the areas where they have originated (I was enormously more impressed by a Californian Aligote than by any I have tasted from Burgundy). Their mere names may have struck fear into the wine buying public (anyone for Harslevelu?).

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