Driving south from Rias Baixas, Vinho Verde should be the first stop in Portugal. Is there a better way to invigorate the wine palate? In addition to the familiar lightly effervescent aperitif-style wines, there is a whole category of terroir-driven, artisan wines to enjoy. Take Asnella as a fine example. The vineyard sits to the south in the DO and the northern edge of the Douro DOC. It sits upon a fault line that separates the vineyard with two very different soil types – and schist and granite. The blend of Arinto and Loureiro parcels from this single vineyard imparts a profound minerality and weight uncommon for Vinho Verde. The wine is vinified for six months in stainless steel tanks, lending classic freshness, an essence of lime zest and green apple in a crisply textured yet more substantial body.
The flinty minerality and bright fruit are an ideal pair for oysters, and other fruits of the sea.