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The Verdelho Grape

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About Verdelho

(Synonyms: Verdello; incorrectly, Gouveio, Godello)


Verdelho grapes Map showing Portugal

Verdelho is a white-wine grape originating in Portugal (though some say that far back it came out of Sicily), where it is still grown, it is but now also a reasonably major grape in Australia. There is also a little starting to come in from South America

For long, Verdelho's fame rested on its importance in the making of a type of Madeira, a fortified wine; the climate of the island of Madeira produced grapes readily suited for such use (though Verdelho plantings on Madeira itself were decimated by the Phylloxera plague of the later 19th century). But Verdelho has also long been vinified as a table wine, though till relatively recently, not a much-noted one on the world stage.

From as early as the 1820s, Australians have been making wine with Verdelho, though generally as a blending component. It was a type well-suited to some of the major climate regions in Australia, and after some ups and downs in their wine industry (very well explained in a recommended article "In Defense of Verdelho" from Faber Vineyards of Australia), the growth in interest in labelled varietals starting there in the 1970s returned attention to Verdelho.

When well made as a dry table wine, Verdelho makes wines that are profoundly aromatic while yet being full-bodied and complex; moreover, a well-made Verdelho is one of those uncommon things, a white that can improve materially with significant bottle age. Mind, a somewhat carelessly made Verdelho can produce (depending on the nature of the vintner's failure) either over-sweet "fat" wines of little character, or over-alcoholic and "hot" wines. The crux is picking the grapes at the right level of maturity: the full varietal flavor—often of nectarines, sometimes of lemon-lime—requires full maturity; but grapes left to hang a little too long have excess sugar, necessarily producing either those sweet flabby types or the high-alcohol ones (depending on how much of the sugar the winemaker let ferment).

So a well-made Verdelho will be fresh, soft, and quite fruity when young, but will age gracefully into a rich, complex, and generally delicious drink (sometimes described as "oily", a trait it thus shares with, for example, Riesling). And it can be a great bargain: even many premier bottlings fall within our price range of under $20. This is a type well worth getting to know.

Factoid: Verdelho does not, despite some claims, seem to be at all related to the Godello grape, despite a comical chain of name confusions (also involving the Gouveio grape) that cloud the issue. Wine-grape nomenclature is a wild and wooly business.

Some Descriptions of Verdelho Wines

  • Wikipedia

    "The grape has been successful in the vineyards of Australia, particularly the South Burnett wine region in Queensland, Hunter Region, Langhorne Creek, Cowra and the Swan Valley. Australian versions of Verdelho are noted for their intense flavors with hints of lime and honeysuckle and the oily texture that the wines can get after some aging."

  • Wine Searcher

    "The aromatic profile of Verdelho is crisp, sometimes with leafy or spicy accents. It typically makes rich wine in the Old World, with ripe apricot and stonefruit aromas, while in Australia it is more reminiscent of citrus and tropical fruits. . . The [Australian] wines show good acidity and freshness and express a number of regional differences. Western Australia is known for producing Verdelho wines with honeysuckle and lime-cordial flavours while South Australian examples tend to be more tropical. New South Wales versions have a spicy character, often showing pear and white pepper notes similar to, but less intense than, Grüner Veltliner. It is usually produced as a varietal wine but it is also common to blend Verdelho with Chardonnay or Semillon."

  • Faber Vineyards

    "I believe that verdelho is an interesting and challenging variety, a test of grapegrowing and winemaking, that if successful can produce a delicious young wine that will improve for a very long time in the cellar. As a variety it has the rare characteristic of being both aromatic and full bodied. Its varietal character is of ripe nectarines and sherbet, and this is only achieved when the fruit is fully ripe. The flavours develop late in the season so it is essential not to pick too early. However it is also prone to over ripeness, stuck ferments and excessive phenolics and it can easily produce sugary, broad, fat, unattractive wines. The high sugar level of the grapes creates the risk that the wine will be hot and alcoholic or suffer a stuck ferment and have residual sugar. Achieving a fine, vibrant, intense wine is no easy task. Well made verdelho has the happy knack of satisfying the lover of complex dry wine as well as those who enjoy softer fruitier wines."

  • Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes

    "The variety has had its most notable success in vibrant, lemony, substantial table wines in Australia, most notably in some of the hotter regions of Western Australia."

  • South Burnett Wine

    "Verdelho is known for its high acidity when aged, but if it's drunk young it usually possesses strong fruit flavors. Most verdelhos are usually consumed within two years of vintage and the wine is very reasonably priced . . . Australian versions of verdelho are noted for their intense flavors. The wine is usually aromatic and high in alcohol. There's also a surprising amount of flavor variation between the States.

    • Swan Valley verdelhos are usually fresh and fruity, sometimes with a honeysuckle vein.

    • Langhorne Creek verdelhos have a soft and flavoursome palate with tropical flavours such as pineapple and guava.

    • Hunter Valley verdelhos are generally spicy (on both the nose and palate)

    • South Burnett verdelhos have tropical notes of pineapple, melon, tropical fruits, guava, honeysuckle and fruit salad.

    In general, the cooler the climate the more herbaceous, grassy and spicy the wine is while warm-climate verdelhos have more tropical flavours and aromas. If the variety is picked early it will exhibit more citrus and herbaceous elements, while rich fruit flavours will be dominant if it's picked late. Recently some South Burnett winemakers have noticed that while verdelhos usually degrade very rapidly two years after vintage and become acidic, some verdelhos have the capacity to "come back" after five years (in much the same way that semillon does) and produce a very fine wine indeed. So experiments are now being conducted to see if this process can be reliably replicated."

  • The World Wide Wine

    "The characteristics of Verdelho wines vary according to the climate, growing conditions, and the wine-maker’s art. The wine is usually aromatic and high in alcohol and acidity. Its palate can be rich, herbaceous, spicy and nutty with tropical fruit flavors. In Portugal Verdelho produces fortified wines; it is a major component in the famous Madeira wines. In France Verdelho produces a dry white wine. In Australia these grapes are transformed into dry, fruity wines and fortified wines."

  • Decanter

    "The wines with the greatest purity of fruit are those from cooler climatic zones such as Langhorne Creek, Margaret River and Yarra Valley. Occasionally somewhat lean, the wines retain a powerful streak of acidity (much as in Madeira) which is frequently offset by 2–3g of residual sugar. Consequently, these wines are capable of taking some bottle age though – rather like Viognier – the allure of Verdelho arguably lies in the immediacy of the fruit. At the other end of the climatic scale is the Hunter Valley, where Verdelho now counts as one of the main white grape varieties, alongside Chardonnay and Semillon. The wines here tend to be more tropical in character but can exhibit broad, oily characteristics.

  • James Halliday Australian Wine Companion

    "Most Australian verdelho comes from the Margaret River and Swan Valley regions of Western Australia, and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, with the Granite Belt an outpost in Queensland. Its generous fruit salad flavour, evident from the conclusion of fermentation, needing neither bottle age nor oak, has doubtless contributed to its massive growth."

Some Verdelhos to Try

(About this list.)

Wine Searcher reports well over half a thousand matches for "Verdelho" (though many are madeiras), and the web is awash with reviews of this or that particular Verdelho; what seems lacking is any even half-way comprehensive listing of supposedly better Verdelho wines. It was thus difficult to assemble even a small list whose members could be said to be "consensus" choices of reviewers. Moreover, by trying to hold the list to wines reasonably available (as judged by counting retailers shown by Wine Searcher Pro), many of the good Australian wines are left off, though some quite good ones did make the cut. (We, at least, could not find any at all of Houghton, Kosovich, Talijancich, Upper Reach, Lamont's, Faber, Heafod Glen, Margan, or Olive Farm—just to name a few outstanding Australian producers of verdelho). Indeed, even some on the list have highly limited availability, though those are at least on some large retailer's list.

The quotations below are excerpts; we strenuously urge you to click on the green diamond symbol by each quoted review to see the full article.
  • Hope Estate Verdelho, $8 - $15.
    (Australia: Hunter Valley)
         ($8.94 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    Offers good structure and juicy stone fruit at a giveaway price. This dry white is medium-sized, with straw and nut accents to its ripe stone fruit flavors. Offers meaty, nutty accents on the nose, too. A fine introduction to a variety that is just making its way in the U.S. 86 points.

    This nectar was fermented in stainless steel tanks, to preserve the natural fruit flavors, and without aging in wood barrels the wine is precisely as nature intended without complex characteristics added, so it’s naturally fresh tasting. The color is yellow with some green hues, and the fragrance is akin to stepping into a florist’s shop, and the taste has a blend of tropical flavors and more than a dash or two of that famous lemony-ness. I would put this wine in the company of Gewurztraminer when it comes to pairing with food.

    This example is classic: A full-bodied dry white wine, it shows a medium-deep yellow gold color. On the nose, an herbal note adds interest and character to the zesty lemony aromas. Flavors maintain the citrus/lemon character, retaining a crisp, clean, vibrant fruit profile, finishing with a hint of lime. Unoaked, the wine shows a natural richness while remaining refreshing.

    Very nice nose, with hints of subtle aged honey, quince, fig, and a little hint of burnt tire. Very dry, lacks a punch, a little bit of one dimensional strictiure and hollow mid palate. what started out promising ended up somewhat "meh". Reminds me of Lindsay Lohan's acting career. That said, there's some charasmatic attributes to this wine including its bone dry attack and its overall solid delivery of sliced apple dipped in honey. So much like Lindsay Lohan, there some "Hope"... oh god, look what I did there.

    The smartest comment on describing wines that I’ve ever heard came from Larry Bain, the director of operations of the restaurant Jardinière in San Francisco. “There are basically two things to say about wine,” he said. “They are, ‘Mmmmm. let’s have some more of that,’ and, ‘Hmm. Let’s try something else.” So, while I could tell you about how verdelho is a Portuguese grape that the Australians used to use for making high-octane sweet wines, and I could go on about grape-challenging heat of the Hunter Valley, I’ll just tell you that this wine’s dry, limey flavors and mouthwatering acidity are the sort of wine that will make you think, “Mmmmm. I’d like some more of that.”

    Verdelho, a Portuguese variety now grown extensively in Australia, is an antidote to heavy winter flavors. This estate-grown version from the country's Hunter Valley region has a light honey color and a vanilla, fruit aroma. Clean and easy drinking, the wine impressed us with flavors of citrus, pineapple and litchi. A refreshing spring and summer sipping wine on its own, it will also make a great companion with food.

    Tasting: June 2008, typical Hunter style, unoaked with lively up front orange rind, guava and tropical fruit flavours, spicy with a limey, mineral finish (***).

    Jancis Robinson: The verdelho was peachy and soft, not bone dry (2.3 g/l residual sugar). Good intensity.

  • Herdade do Esporão "V" Verdelho, $8 - $15.
    (Portugal: Vinho Regional Alentejano)

    Some quotations and facts:

    A ripe, smooth wine that is lightly textured and rich. It has a crisp line of acidity to cut through the spice, the orange and the apple fruitiness. There is no hint of the high alcohol on this fragrant, fruity wine. 87 points.

    Fresh, fruit-forward and richer than expected, green apple, fresh cut grass and considerable substance on the palate - fantastic acidity, perfect for scallops!

    Wine Enthusiast:
    2013 vintage (reviewed 1 October 2014), 86 points:
    As fresh as can be, this is a bright, lively and lightly perfumed wine. It has grapefruit, apricot fruit and a touch of minerality. Drink through 2015.
    2012 vintage (reviewed 1 April 2014), 87 points:
    A ripe, smooth wine that is lightly textured and rich. It has a crisp line of acidity to cut through the spice, the orange and the apple fruitiness. There is no hint of the high alcohol on this fragrant, fruity wine. Drink now.
    2011 vintage (reviewed 1 December 2012), 90 points:
    An increasingly impressive Verdelho with each new vintage, this is the producer’s best yet. It has warm, ripe apricot and pear flavors that are intense and generous. The soft, rich texture is cut by nervy acidity that gives the wine fine balance. Age for one year. (In Top 100 Best Buys.)
    2009 vintage (reviewed 1 February 2011), 89 points:
    Despite its alcohol, this is actually a delicate, stylish, lemon-scented wine. There is an attractive perfume that shines through the oil and mineral texture. A great food wine.
    2008 vintage (reviewed 15 December 2009), 90 points:
    The lively perfume of Verdelho shines through this crisp, fresh wine. There’s a great texture of pear skins, followed with spice over the green fruit, finished with wafts of citrus and lime.
    2007 vintage (reviewed 1 April 2009), 85 points:
    Floral, crisp, this wine hints at spice, showing green and yellow fruit acidity, cut grass aromas, and dried apricot sweetness. It is relatively full, but this doesn’t detract from the apéritif-like freshness.
    2006 vintage (reviewed 15 December 2007), 85 points:
    Spicy, aromatic, touched by minerality and chalk, with an intense texture, the wine remains fresh, though, a fine apéritif wine, ending softly.
    2004 vintage (reviewed 1 August 2005), 86 points:
    This grape variety produces a delicate, flowery wine, with mango and citrus flavors and good structure.

    Wine Spectator (2011), 89 points (2009 vintage)

    Like California sauvignon blanc but with more melon and stone fruit; minerals at finish.

    This lovely wine is a steal for $13. Its bright green notes (newly cut grass, asparagus, fresh sage) are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, but the Verdelho is rounder and fuller in the mouth. A clean, refreshing lemony finish makes “V” an ideal warm weather wine. 89 points.

    Light yellow color; tart citrus, very tart peach nose; tart citrus, very tart peach palate; medium finish (89 point).

    A New World style approach yielded a wine with delicate citrus and orange blossom bouquet, a bright citrus mid-palate with mango notes, broad and firm acidity, and hints of a complex nuttiness that made this grape a favorite in Madeira for fortified wines. Verdelho is similar to Verdejo in its bright citrus and high acidity but has a more complex texture, and is not as thin and high acid as Albarino.

    This pale yellow colored Verdelho from Portugal opens with a mild Bartlett pear bouquet with a hint of banana. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, slightly acidic and savory. The flavor profile is a mineral infused Anjou pear with hints of green apple. The finish is dry and it is slightly prolonged. 88 points (Very Good).

  • Tyrrell's Old Winery Verdelho, $12 - $13.
    (Australia: Hunter Valley)

    Some quotations and facts:

    I can't believe how much flavour there is in this wine whose alcohol content is just 12.5%, and there is no desperate hurry to drink it. It's the 2012 that is tasting particularly well at the moment - stunningly attractive, with notes of both citrus (recalling one of Australia's great gifts to the world of wine, Hunter Valley Sémillon) and the attractive aspects of varnish, a recurring theme with the Madeira grape Verdelho, I find. It is truly tangy but has good fruit ballast too - and makes a thoroughly satisfying aperitif as well as being assertive enough to drink with food. . . I don't have the sense that this wine will deteriorate rapidly in bottle, and Verdelho is generally ageworthy, but the 2012 is already delicious so I see no particular reason to cellar it. The 2013 is well on the way to this delightful state but I would hold it for a few months while the fruit broadens out on the palate, as has happened to the 2012. . . This wine is made by one of the most respected producers in Australia, the sort of historic, mid-sized operation that, like Yalumba in South Australia, forms the solid backbone of the Australian wine industry.

    Retaining plenty of translucent, youthful colour, its simple dry straw and lemon zest aromas precede a cleanly balanced, viscous palate of agreeable freshness. Pure and zippy nuances of nettle, limes and lemon zest are framed by a lightly effervescent, spritzy acidity, finishing with just a trace of green edged flavour. A very spritzy, cleanly flavoured quaffing white with a genuine point of difference to its unique varietal expression, but I would loved to have seen it a touch drier. Great wine at this price though. 89 points.

    [M]ulti-layered white with zingy white peach and lime flavours.

    Light to medium-bodied; clean, fresh fruit salad varietal flavour; good balance. 88 points.

    Australia is the only country that makes table wine of any consequence from verdelho, other than perhaps Portugal (in small quantities). Pale straw-green, it has neatly poised tropical fruit with lemon and straw notes, quite fleshy on the entry, then tightens up with lemony fruit on the crisp finish. 90 points.

    This is most definitely tropical in nature, with delicious notes of peaches and pear drizzled with honey, but the wine manages to retain a nice crisp and refreshing feel.

    Imagine a wine that has the peachy weight of Chardonnay in tension with the tight pithy edge of Semillon, add in some notes of musky pearskin and a light nuttiness on the finish, and you won’t be far off the mark.

    I was attracted by the intensity and vitality of this wine, wonderfully fresh and lively, with spicy, tropical notes and a honeyed character.

  • Zonte's Footstep "Sea Mist" Verdelho, $12 - $20.
    (Australia: Langhorne Creek, Fleurieu Peninsula)

    Some quotations and facts:

    This 2009 Zonte’s Footstep Sea Mist Verdelho was one of my standouts at the annual Critics’ Challenge, held a week ago in San Diego. After being tapped for a platinum medal by one of my co-judges, the wine turned up in a lineup tasted by all the judges in our quest for the best white wine of the competition. It lost the runoff to an excellent “medium-sweet” California riesling, but I thought this mouth-filling yet zingy Australian Verdelho should have won. It has fragrant aromas of herbs, ginger and limes, a tantalizing flavor mix of chalk, citrus and tropical mango, and a crisp finish, perfect to sip both as an aperitif and with spicy grilled shrimp.

    I gave this a Platinum on the first day of competition ["Critics Challenge"], one of three I awarded all weekend. . . When it came time for the white sweepstakes, this tied for the most votes with the eventual winner . . .

    More that just your average tropical aromas, some orange, nectarine and honey complexity before a tsunami of fresh fruit, zingy and zesty acids, some spicy notes and a clean, long finish.

    Golden straw color. Interesting aromas and flavors of pickling spices, kaffir lime, passionfruit, and curry leaf with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish with impressions of lemon sorbet and earth. An exotic white wine treat. 93 points, "Exceptional", "BestBuy".

    Smooth, easy-drinking and lushly textured, this Verdelho features peach and grapefruit notes that stay refreshingly clean and crisp on the finish. It should work well as an apéritif or with many fish dishes. 88 points.

    Delightful example of what good verdelho can achieve. Truckloads of delicious fresh tropical flavours here. A bit of zippy acidity. 89 points.

    An enticing floral scent with vibrant aromas of candied lemon and soft, green herbs. Clean and refreshing flavours with gentle acidity.

  • Sittella Verdelho, $15.
    (Australia: Swan Valley)

    Some quotations and facts:

    ♣ Jancis Robinson reportedly once said that the Swan Valley makes the best Verdelho in the world, and Sittella was voted the best Verdelho at the 2013 Swan Valley Wine Show. Nonetheless, though the winery appears very frequently in lists of notable Verdelho wines, there are surprisingly few actual reviews available. What we could extract appears below.

    Lively, fresh and elegant with great minerality, complexity and rich citrus and lychee flavours. 94 points.

    Pale straw-green; rich fruit salad and cream style; no shortage of flavour, ready now. 92 points.

  • Mollydooker "The Violinist" Verdelho, $17 - $34 [$18 from the winery's U.S. outlet, shipping $24/case]
    (Australia: McLaren Vale; note that "Mollydooker" is one word, not two.)

    Some quotations and facts:

    The wine pours a pale yellow color in the glass. The nose has lush tropical fruits with the barest hints of herbs and spice. The nose is very pleasant and perfume-like. It makes you want to keep sniffing the glass. The explosion of tropical fruits on the palate is intense. You get a lot of juicy pineapple and hints of mango. Flavors of crisp green apple, pear, ruby grapefruit, and lemon meringue were also abundant with a long, spicey finish. . . For this wine being the only white wine that they produce, it definitely did not disappoint. This wine is a great example of the wonderful, complex wines that Mollydooker produces.

    This wine was a gorgeous pale yellow in the glass, telltale of what was to come. On the nose- pear, apple and a touch of wood. I was blown away by the initial attack. Pear, Quince and Yellow apple all mixing it up. The mouthfeel is superb, with a fullness reminiscent of a Cali Chardonnay. Gentle and balanced acidity make this a full bodied wine with some nice finishing notes of nut, Asian pear and flowers. I timed a good 20 second finish on this wine. . .  For this amount of cash you are getting an exceptional wine with complexity and depth not to mention great taste and mouthfeel.

    Wine Advocate (2006 vintage), 92 points:
    The 2006 The Violinist (100% young vine Verdelho from McLaren Vale) is a gorgeously full-bodied Verdelho that was fermented and aged in both new and old French and American wood, then bottled early. No malolactic was used. It is a powerful white boasting notes of honeyed melons and other tropical fruits, beeswax, and crisp citrus. There is good underlying acidity, an explosively rich mid-palate, and a fresh, lively, elegant, creamy texture as well as finish.
    Wine Advocate (2008 vintage), 90 points:
    Medium straw-colored, the fragrant nose offers up notes of baking spices, pit fruits, melon, and floral aromas. On the palate it has a creamy texture, ripe flavors, and excellent balance.
    Wine Advocate (2009 vintage), 90 points.
    It was partially barrel-fermented and aged on its lees in barrel and tank. It gives up fragrant aromas of toast, baked apple, mango, and other tropical aromas. Creamy textured, round, ripe, and concentrated, this long, tasty wine can be enjoyed over the next 2 years.
    Wine Advocate (2010 vintage), 90 points:
    A blend of 1/3 Adelaide Hills fruit and 2/3 McLaren Vale, the 2010 The Violinist Verdelho gives intense aromas of lemon juice, white pepper, coriander seed and a touch of grapefruit peel. Crisp, rich and very full in the mouth (15.5% declared alcohol), this Verdelho provides a great intensity of spiced citrus flavors with some poached pears and apple slices coming through in the long finish.
    Wine Advocate (2011 vintage), 89 points:
    The 2011 The Violinist Verdelho presents a moderate intensity of pear and warm apple fruit aromas with hints of white pepper and fresh hay. Dry, rich, full-bodied, creamy textured and with good flavor concentration in the mouth, it has a long finish.

    ♣ Wine Spectator (November 2009):
    A weighty, extracted style, with vibrant greengage plum and spice flavors, lingering on the slightly tart finish.

    This wine received a 90 from the Wine Advocate and was named Best Value White Wine in the World by Robert Parker; and it is not hard to see why. The Molly Dooker [sic] Violinist has a citrusy aroma. The flavor is very crisp and sweet with a hint of pear. The Violinist is a light wine that will go very well with Asian food or a spicy chicken dish.

    In a word: big. It reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc on steroids. The nose hits you with pineapple. Though it’s somewhat creamy, I get lots of pineapple, white grapefruit, some herbal notes, and a nice amount of acid. It’s fruity, but not sweet. The finish has an alcohol burn (no shock–15% alcohol) and I’m getting papaya. I’ve never had a Verdelho before so I have nothing to compare this to, but this one is big and heavy.

    He said: Served chilled. Very light oat straw color. Delicious pear aromas. Creamy ripe Bartlett pear and honeydew melon taste with a mid-palate tartness and quite short creamy fruit finish. I’m looking for some crispness and there is absolutely none. It’s delicious creamy pear and not much else…not complex nor as full bodied as a good oaked chardonnay. Good with the scallops but falls flat sipping after the meal. Would I buy it again, probably because it packs a lot of smooth creamy flavor into one bottle…it’s good, but clearly not memorable!!!
    She said: A great big yum for this one; love it! Starting with a pear scented aroma it presents a smooth creamy taste to the palate with layers of flavors. The medium long finish ends with a tad of bitterness. An excellent choice for scallops but not a bargain.

    I immediately noticed a grassy, grapefruit nose that made me think sauv blanc, but at the same time, there was enough going on that I also knew this was going to be a different experience. Once I started to sip, this idea was confirmed. I noted a ton of white pepper, some other spices, an a hint of boxwood. The wine offered a very full mouthfeel, and the oak on the palate surprised me. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t expecting all those toasty spice notes from oak in this wine. Once got used to the oak, I started to notice more of the fruit flavors – pear and grapefruit – which added a nice counterpoint to the spices and white pepper that stayed dominant. As the wine warmed up, the citrus/lime notes got a lot more noticeable. Having only had this wine (and this grape) once, I don’t know exactly what to make of it. I found it a bit odd, but I think I liked it.

    It is characterized by lovely aromatics, ripe, round fruit and mouth watering pineapple and citrus flavors that keep you coming back for sip after sip.

    Light to medium bodied with good citrus, vanilla, finely ground white pepper and a silky mouthfeel. Its structure holds up for the duration of the bottle and is delicious.

    White fruit perfume and citrus viscosity match wits with a curiously styled acid. This wine is huge and hangs on the palate. Let it sit there. You'll feel the viscosity and acid vie for position. The killer lime peel finish is balanced and beautiful. This is a powerful white -- approach it with caution and food.

    This wine has fresh aromas of lemon zest, pineapple, spring flowers and pear. It is full bodied and intensely creamy in the mouth but it still doesn't feel weighted down at all. The flavors of citrus, honeysuckle and sweet spices dance together beautifully and there is just the right amount of acidity to keep your palate wanting more.

For a Splurge

Owing to the apparent paucity of better-grade verdelho wines in the U.S., there does not really seem to be a "splurge-level" bottling, unless it is something obscure and scarce; the closest to a "splurge" is probably Mollydooker's The Violinist"—described above in the list—which can be found for under our $20 arbitrary limit, as well as rather over it (up to $34, so shop with care).

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