Most whites from the cool, damp Portuguese region of Vinho Verde are blends, but this wine is 100 percent loureiro, one of the white grapes traditionally in the blends. Among the characteristics of loureiro are crisp acidity and good flavor at lower alcohol levels. This wine reflects both those characteristics.
The wine is racy yet a little fleshy, with flavors of citrus, golden Delicious apple and white nectarine. There’s a juicy, persistent finish. At 11.5 percent alcohol, it’s a good aperitif, but it has the oomph to pair with seafood. (It’s Dungeness crab season, so that’s a pairing I’m eager to try.)
Quinta do Ameal was founded in 1710 and recently was acquired by Esporão, one of Portugal’s largest wine companies. That should increase its availability here.