Gazela Vinho Verde
Like Pinot Grigio? You'll love Gazela. Light fresh and slightly bubbly wine from Portugal. Gazela Vinho Verde is well-balanced with vibrant citrus, green apple and lemongrass flavors and a subtle effervescence. A fresh, approachable and unstuffy Vinho Verde.
Blend: 40% Loureiro, 30% Pedernã, 15% Trajadura, 15% Azal
Nestled in the northwest corner of the country, Vinho Verdes is one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal and translates directly to “green wine,” though not because of the color—it means “green” as in “young.” Given its freshness, Gazela is a wine that is best enjoyed young. Vinho Verde, and Gazela, in particular are suited to the younger wine consumers looking for light and refreshing wines for uncomplicated drinking occasions.
António Braga is the Enological Director at Sogrape Vinhos. Driven by curiosity and a desire to experience foreign climates, he started his winemaking career in 2003, with harvests in Portugal, California, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand.
At Sogrape since 2007, he originally assumed a winemaking role at Quinta da Leda. There, in the Douro Superior, Antonio oversaw 10 harvests and made an invaluable contribution as the ‘right hand man’ to Luis Sottomayor, amplifying the portfolio and prestige of Sogrape’s Douro wine brands.
In recognition of his excellent work, new and greater responsibilities naturally followed and in March 2017, António Braga took responsibility for some of Sogrape Vinhos regions (Vinhos Verdes, Dão, Bairrada and Lisbon), monitoring a new winemaking team.
A cheerful, translucid, lemon-yellow and slightly pétillant white wine, Vinho Verde literally means ‘green wine’ and is named after the northwest Portugese region from which it originates. The ‘green’ in the name refers to the youthful state in which the wines are customarily released and consumed, not the color of the wine.
It is typically a blend of various percentages of Alvarinho, Loureiro, Trajadura, and Pedernã (Arinto). Following initial alcoholic fermentation, a natural, secondary malolactic conversion in cask produces carbon dioxide, giving Vinho Verde its charmingly light sparkle.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.