Friday, December 16, 2011

A Playhouse Festival Favourite

The brochures for the 2012 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival are available now and they're always good for some reading - not that I can take in nearly as many events as I'd like to. I figured I'd use the brochure's appearance as an excuse to pull out one of the wines that I picked up at a previous festival. I don't always remember the wines I grab at the Festival on-site store but there wasn't much question about this one. I don't know that I would have picked it up otherwise as the $30 price tag is a bit much for a Portugese white that otherwise would have been of unknown quality.

1017. 2008 Touquinheiras Alvarinho (DOC Vinho Verde - Portugal)

When I see a bottle of Vinho Verde, I generally think of the young, light, fresh wines that add a little summer pétillance to your glass. Although this wine is still from the Vinho Verde appellation in Portugal, it is from the sub-region of Monção in the very top of the north-west corner of the country near the border with Spain. In this region, a Vinho Verde known as Vinho Alvarinho is made as well. This wine is made from strictly Alvarinho grapes and is higher in alcohol and has none of the fizz.

This was one of my favourite white wines from the 2010 Playhouse Fesitval. I quite enjoy looking for the new dry wines coming out of Portugal as many producers are following in the footsteps of some of the New World wine regions and introducing some serious modernization into their winemaking. Quinta do Touquinheiras is part of the Wines and Winemakers by Saven group. Saven's concept is to identify "innovative craftspeople who are at the forefront of modern technology, while staying true to the unique flavours, characteristics and personalities of each region" and then working together to market and get the wines out into the world.

Touquinheiras only produces three wines, the Alvarinho, a Vinho Verde closer to the lighter wine I've come to know and a brandy. I haven't seen or tried the other two wines but the Alvarinho was big with fruit and citrus. I saw one writer proffer a tasting note of "lemon butter." I kinda like that.

And I definitely still liked the wine - even if it took almost two years for me to finally open it. So, here's to the finds that are still to be discovered at this year's upcoming Playhouse Festival. I can't wait.

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