From: Vinho Verde, Portugal
Blend: 40% Arinto, 30% Trajadura, 30% Loureiro
Taste: This delicious ’21 Vinho Verde is an intoxicating fusion of the Arinto, Trajadura, and Loureiro grapes. On the nose, it unfurls with vibrant floral and citrus-peel aromas, hinting at the lively experience to come. The palate is a bright and linear journey through a symphony of citrus and orchard fruit, elevated by a subtle effervescence and supported by a backbone of racy stony minerality. Distinct notes of green apple and a dash of saline streaks give it a tantalizing complexity. The finish is bright and lifted, lingering on the palate with a memory of frosted lemon, lime, and a hint of fuzzy nectarine. This is a wine that sparkles with high energy and delivers an effervescent mouthfeel, making it a perfect warm weather companion.
Pairing: In general, the 2021 Quinta de Santiago 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde pairs delightfully with lighter fare. Its bright acidity and citrus undertones make it a natural match for a cheese plate, allowing the flavors of the cheese to shine without overwhelming the palate. Shellfish, such as shrimp or scallops (check out the recipe below!), will harmonize beautifully with its salinity and vibrant fruit characteristics.
For a regional pairing, consider traditional Portuguese dishes. This wine would complement 'Bacalhau a Bras' - a delightful concoction of salted cod, onions, and thinly sliced potatoes - quite well, with its acidity cutting through the richness of the dish. Similarly, 'Arroz de Pato' - a popular Portuguese duck rice dish - would be a great pairing. The wine's freshness would balance the gamey richness of the duck, creating a well-rounded dining experience.
For vegetarians, the wine's bright, fresh characteristics make it a versatile pairing. Try it with a Greek salad or a Caprese salad, where the wine's acidity will cut through the creaminess of the feta or mozzarella cheese and complement the fresh tomatoes. Grilled vegetables, such as asparagus or bell peppers, would also pair nicely, as the wine's citrus notes will complement the charred flavors. For a heartier option, consider a spinach and ricotta quiche or a vegetable paella. The 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde's refreshing qualities would help cleanse the palate, contrasting the richness of the quiche or the complexity of the paella.
Scallops With Cream and Basil
By Mark Bittman
About. Nestled in the verdant heart of Vinho Verde, Portugal, the Quinta de Santiago winery stands as a testament to the enduring power of family tradition and commitment to quality. Since 1899, this family-run winery has been creating exceptional wines, and today, it is helmed by the dynamic Joana Santiago, a fourth-generation vintner. Their 2021 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde exemplifies the winery's dedication to native varietals and terroir-driven wines, delivering a sublime experience that is both refreshingly modern and firmly rooted in history.
The Quinta de Santiago 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde is a harmonious blend of Arinto, Trajadura, and Loureiro grapes, each contributing a unique character to this vibrant wine. The result is a light, bright, and zippy white that is just perfect for warm weather enjoyment. With its refreshing acidity, it offers an energizing palate of citrus and orchard fruits, with frosted lemon, lime, and fuzzy nectarine leading the way. Saline streaks and a stony minerality add depth and complexity, while a green apple finish leaves a lasting impression.
This is a wine that shines bright with the character of its Vinho Verde roots, delivering a high-energy palate with an effervescent mouthfeel. Its low alcohol content, at 10.5% ABV, makes it a delightful apéritif, and its lively character pairs perfectly with a range of foods, from shellfish and fresh veggies to cheese plates and vegetarian fare.
Quinta de Santiago's 'Assinatura de Família' is a wine that tells a story - a story of the Santiago family's deep love for the land and their unwavering commitment to sustainable, manual farming. For a century, the Santiago family sold their grapes to larger companies until 2009, when Grandma "Mariazinha" Santiago inspired a return to their roots. Under her guidance, Quinta de Santiago transformed into a boutique winery, championing native varietals and creating wines that speak of their place of origin.
This wine is a tribute to the region's rich winemaking history, and Joana Santiago's stewardship has been instrumental in its success. The Quinta de Santiago winery is a testament to the power of family, tradition, and the beauty of the Vinho Verde region. Each bottle of 'Assinatura de Família' is a testament to their legacy, a signature of the Santiago family's passion and dedication.
This Vinho Verde is more than just a beverage; it's an invitation to experience the bounty of Monção, Portugal, through a lens of sustainability and respect for the land. Its vibrant character and unique flavor profile are a testament to the quality of the grapes and the meticulous care that goes into every stage of production.
With each sip of the 2021 Quinta de Santiago 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde, one can almost imagine standing amidst the verdant vineyards along the banks of the Minho River, feeling the warmth of the Portuguese sun and the cool breeze off the river. It's a tasting experience that goes beyond the palate, transporting wine lovers to the heart of the Vinho Verde region.
In conclusion, the 2021 Quinta de Santiago 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde is a celebration of tradition, terroir, and the Santiago family's commitment to crafting authentic, character-filled wines. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a delightful meal, this wine promises a memorable tasting experience that honours the rich heritage of its creators and the beautiful land they cultivate.
The Santiago family's journey from grape growers to boutique winemakers reflects the broader evolution of the Vinho Verde region. This area has long been known for its unique, effervescent white wines, beloved for their freshness, vitality, and excellent value. Yet, as exemplified by Quinta de Santiago, there's a growing movement towards exploring the unique characteristics of single-varietal wines and experimenting with different winemaking techniques.
The 'Assinatura de Família' is an embodiment of this trend, showcasing how the Arinto, Trajadura, and Loureiro grapes can harmoniously blend to create a wine of exceptional character and complexity. The slight pétillance on the finish, a traditional feature of Vinho Verde wines, adds a delightful textural element that further heightens the wine's refreshing qualities.
There's a palpable sense of connection to the land in this wine, a connection strengthened by the Santiago family's commitment to environmentally friendly farming practices. By working the vineyards manually and eschewing the use of harmful chemicals, they ensure that each bottle of 'Assinatura de Família' is as pure and expressive as the soils from which it originates.
Each sip of the 2021 Quinta de Santiago 'Assinatura de Família' Vinho Verde is a testament to this dedication to authenticity and sustainability. It is an invitation to explore the vibrant, refreshing world of Vinho Verde wines and a tribute to the Santiago family's remarkable journey. As a representation of both the past and the future of Vinho Verde, it serves as a beautiful symbol of this dynamic and exciting wine region.
Whether you're a long-time Vinho Verde enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the 'Assinatura de Família' is a wine that demands attention. It promises not just a delightful tasting experience, but also a deeper appreciation of the rich history and bright future of Vinho Verde. This wine is a tribute to the Santiago family's legacy and a beacon of the region's continued evolution, offering a tantalizing glimpse of the exciting developments still to come in the world of Vinho Verde.
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