Monday, September 30, 2019

From Aveleda - the Adega Velha 6 Years Old Reserva Brandy

Flying home from Lisbon last month I sounded my pockets (1) and found a few extra Euros in which I converted to a 500ml bottle of Adega Velha 6 Years Old Reserva Brandy ($22). This grape brandy is made in the far northwestern DOC of Vinho Verde from a mixture of indigenous grapes: Vinhão, Azal Tinto, Barraçal, and Espadeiro.

Specifically, these grapes were grown in the granite and sandy loam soils at the Quinta da Aveleda vineyard. This site is located in the hilly sub-region of Sousa which enjoys a generally Mediterranean climate with Atlantic influences. The Aveleda winery was founded in 1870 and is currently managed by the 5th generation of the family and is the largest producer and exporter of Vinho Verde wine.

The wine is distilled using an alembic Charentais still - a similar Cognac still used for the Lepanto Brandy de Jerez Solera Gran Reserva. The brandy is then aged six years in Limousin oak casks - the same oak preferred in the Cognac region and popular with brandy makers because of it's wide grains. This translates to a more tannic profile than tight-grained woods.

Despite these tannins, this is a soft brandy, some floral and woody aspects in the nose with a fresh nutty and honeyed core. Love the finish, long with little burn. Cheers.

(1)  One of my favorite lines from Moby-Dick.

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