Minho - Portugal
The 2016 Curtimenta is all Alvarinho aged for nine months in used French oak. It comes in at 13% alcohol. Sourced from 20+-year-old vines, this is made with fermentation on skins, resulting in more color and more tannins. The oak seems almost irrelevant here, as the structure of the wine and its concentration overwhelm and counter the wood. That's not to say there is no oak impact, but it is impeccably balanced. Then, as the winery suggests, it finishes with a bit of tannic pop. There is remarkable grip on the finish, good acidity and that tannic pop. The next day (when it seemed 50% better than on the first day tasted), this was tight, focused and intense, perhaps the best Curtimenta yet. It's very fresh, the fruit lifted and focused, despite the wood, and it is the acidity that seals the deal for this wine.