Primeiras Vinhas 2018
Monçao and Melgaço, Portugal
$27.99, $24.99 on 3+ Mix & Match
The most serious of all of the Soalheiro whites. Made to drink now with some air, but even better with a little cellar time, this pleases both senses of pleasure and cerebral. Fermented in portions of steel and old chestnut barrels, the wine is aged in large neutral wood foudre. If you love great white Burgundy, Vouvray from the Loire, or northeastern Italian whites like Tocai this is your jam! This is my favorite wine they make and I buy a LOT of if personally for my own consumption. Drink now or aged for 10-15 years easy, it will evolve beautifully over the years.
93 pts - Rober Parker Wine Advocate
The 2018 Alvarinho Primeiras Vinhas is partly (15%) oak aged for six months in used French barrels and comes in at 13% alcohol and is bone dry. When last seen, this was in a somewhat awkward condition, but it held plenty of promise. It is still a young puppy, but it is starting to fulfill that promise. Likely to be very long lived, this is textured with velvet and finishes with power. The modest wood treatment gives this a touch of cream, but the fruit easily rises above it while the acidity dices the wood into tiny splinters. By the next day, you hardly notice that there is wood. Overall, this is beautiful—not surprising for this benchmark bottling. It is still on the upswing. You might find rewards if you hold it for another couple of years. It will become more expressive. There is no rush to dive into it. It is a great value, always one of the best intersections of price and quality in the region. Of course, its unoaked siblings are as well. Which you prefer is often a matter of taste and how you intend to use them. They are very close this issue, but this might win because it is a year older and more developed.