Azores Wine Company Verdelho O Original Azores Branco 2018
The winery emphasizes that the Verdelho in the 2018 Verdelho Original is "not to be confused with Gouveio of the mainland or Verdejo of Spain. [It is a] unique grape to the islands of Portugal, Madeira and Azores. It has never been found in mainland Portugal." I repeat that every year, but it's worth doing again. If you're interested in geeky detail, see his study here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajgw.12353. An unoaked blend from three islands in the Azores, it comes in with 12.5% alcohol. This has its acidity beautifully integrated. It shows some expressiveness even at this young age and a lovely finish. It's big, relative to the style, and bright. It evolved nicely in the glass as well. This is a fine example of the brand. Whether it is a little better or a little behind the last couple of vintages is immaterial-it is pretty close. We'll see as they acquire some age.