Loureiro – a treasure of the Vinho Verde Region with international recognition

26 Aug 2021 / Viticulture

Loureiro, an autochthonous variety of the Vinho Verde Region, has its home in Entre-Douro-e-Minho and has established itself so well that it is currently the most planted variety in this wine region. Expressive, yet elegant, with notes of citrus fruits and very floral, Loureiro produces exceptional white wines. It is this expressive and consensual profile that has conquered consumers and critics around the world.

The wine variety

Considered by many to be the most expressive variety in the Vinho Verde Region, Loureiro has contributed to the affirmation of this region in recent decades. Planted all over the Region, its origin is from the Sub-Region of Lima, where Aveleda has the Quinta de Cabração, and here it reveals its most characteristic expression.

Typically, the Loureiro variety creates wines that are naturally low in alcohol, mineral and elegant, but very exuberant from an aromatic point of view. Therefore, it is often used in blends to give a more expressive, fruity and floral character to the wine. Curiously, Loureiro blossom (hence its name) is one of the main aromatic descriptors, along with floral and citrus fruit notes.

Loureiro: a wine variety with international recognition

British Master of Wine Tim Atkin describes the variety as “Fresh, sharp, producing wines naturally low in alcohol and calories, with a salinity unique to the Atlantic”.

Due to its fruity and floral profile and its inherent elegance, wines from the Loureiro variety quickly become one of the consumers’ favourites. International critics are also turning attention to the variety - MW Jancis Robinson was impressed by the incredible longevity of the wines and the dazzling minerality still present in older vintages.

Depending on the terroir and the viticulture method, the variety shows more complex expressions with more body, herbaceous and dried fruit notes, and endless purposes. One of the greatest examples of this potential is the Aveleda Parcela do Convento, which impressed the international critic Roger Voss and was awarded 92 points by Wine Enthusiast.

Loureiro in Aveleda: one of the most awarded expressions of the variety

Since the mid-1990s, Aveleda has been dedicated to the study and winemaking of this variety, planting it in different terroirs, with different soils and densities, testing various winemaking methods. Loureiro is the signature variety of the oldest wine in the house, Quinta da Aveleda (currently Aveleda Loureiro & Alvarinho), and is already an intrinsic part of its identity and fame. In the last 5 years, and after the studies started in the '90s, Aveleda has been dedicated to the production of unique expressions of the variety, exploring its full potential.

Aveleda Loureiro, launched in 2017, has a density and body that is different from what is usual in the variety, endowing the wine with an unmistakable creaminess and an unforgettable aftertaste. This particular structure is the result of a high-density viticulture model, where the vines have deeper roots and where there are fewer fruits per plant, allowing a greater concentration of aromatic compounds and sugars in the grapes. In recent years, the wine has been awarded by international critics:

  • 2018: The Wine Advocate - Robert Parker, awarded 90 points to the 2017 harvest.
  • 2020: Wine Enthusiast awarded 90 points to the 2019 harvest.
  • 2021: Wine & Spirits awarded 90 points to the 2020 harvest.
  • 2021: The Decanter World Wine Awards awarded 97 points to the 2020 harvest.

Aveleda Parcela do Convento was launched for the first time in 2019 and has already impressed international critics and sommeliers. It comes from a very particular part of Quinta da Aveleda, located on a hillside that has an ideal sun exposure for the variety. Here, Loureiro gains a phenomenal intensity and a vibrant minerality that give the wine an extremely powerful structure and a profile that is etched in the memory of those who taste it. Pedro Ramos, head sommelier of the Michelin Star Alma describes the wine as “an endless longevity, I can still chew the wine, it's amazing!” Check some of its international awards:

  • 2020: Wine Spectator awarded 91 points to the 2018 harvest.
  • 2021: Wine Enthusiast awarded 92 points to the 2019 harvest.

We invite you to taste one of the treasures of the Vinho Verde Region and a Portuguese expression that deserves to be appreciated and recognized internationally.

Aveleda. Small details, great wines.

Written by Aveleda

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