Wine of the week: the finest Vinho Verde I have ever tasted

This exquisitely expressive, top-of-the-range wine is a true epicurean’s delight.

2020 Soalheiro
(Image credit: )

2020 Soalheiro, Primeiras Vinhas, Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal

About £26,,

I experienced a eureka moment in August. While dining at a smarty-pants fish restaurant in Portugal, a wine waiter asked me if I wanted to taste a “special wine” they had just received but that hadn’t yet made it onto the wine list. Of course, my answer was yes. I am sure many readers will be familiar with Soalheiro – Portugal’s most famous, ubiquitous, bargain-priced and, it has to said, delicious Vinho Verde.

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Goodness knows how many cases are made of this stuff because it lines up on every supermarket shelf in the country. In fact, it is one of the most exciting things about summer hols! I was aware of a hierarchy of VVs from this terrific winery, but I rarely come across them, and so when I was presented with 2020 Primeiras Vinhas by a sommelier who was bursting with pride and eager to know my thoughts, I was a little more than excited. This is, without any shred of doubt, the finest VV I have ever tasted, and it arrived in the country a few weeks ago.

We tend to drink Vinho Verde ice-cold under a blazing sun, but this top-of-the-range wine, made from the original and oldest vines and seeing the merest hint of oak, is a true epicurean’s delight. It is exquisitely expressive in every department without ever overstepping the mark. Chablis fans will know what I mean when I say it is the Raveneau of Vinho Verde. And when you have experienced this epic treat, track down 2020 Granit (,,, another sensational wine from the Soalheiro portfolio.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.