Reserva has an intense yellow to golden-yellow colour. On the nose are elegant and persistent aromas with undertones of barrel ageing, complemented by the ever-present freshness and fruit of the Alvarinho variety. The flavour is complex and full-bodied.
The Minho wine region, also known as the Vinho Verde region, is located in the northwest of Portugal. It is one of the country’s most well-known wine regions and is primarily known for producing Vinho Verde wines. The Minho region has a maritime climate, influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is characterized by mild temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rainfall. These conditions are conducive to the growth of grapes and contribute to the region’s vibrant, green landscape.
The Alvarinho grapes for Soalheiro Reserva come from vineyards in the valley, generally trained in an ascending system, exposing them to the sun and warmer temperatures. This gives the wine fewer aromatic components but more tannins and structure. This profile of Alvarinho is perfect for barrel fermentation, where the complexity associated with ageing is more important than aromatic intensity. The microclimate in this region is very particular, with mountains protecting the grapes from Atlantic influences.
The grapes are harvested by hand. After pressing, the must is clarified and then fermented with controlled temperature. Fermentation and ageing take place in French oak barrels with medium toast and a very fine grain. Each vintage, only 25% of the barrels are new. The rest are used from previous years, with some more than 20 years old. Several barrels were even used in the first experiments in 1995. Reserva ages in barrel for one year. The wine stays in contact with fine lees throughout ageing, and bâtonnage is performed to improve texture and complexity. This allows the aromatic identity of Alvarinho to be preserved, while also adding new dimension to the structure in the mouth.
Soalheiro Reserva has enough character to be enjoyed with or without food. Due to its acidity and maturation in oak, it is a perfect wine to be paired with dishes traditionally more associated with red wines. When pairing with a meal, the best choices include fatty fish dishes, red meat, goat, lamb, turkey, duck, game dishes, chicken, and anything with mushrooms or in a cream sauce, but it also pairs well with Asian and Mediterranean gastronomies.
Ideal serving temperature – 11°C.