Val dos Ares is owned by Miguel Queimado. He is part of the revolution that is going on in Portugal's Vinho Verde region. The vineyard has been in his family for over 300 years, but they did what everybody else did. They grew grapes and sold them to one of the large coops in Vinho Verde. Most of the wine came out the same.
The good part of this arrangement is that everybody made a living and as long as the wine was good, nobody complained. Most of the wines weren't even vintage dated. Vinho Verde means "green wine," a reference to the fact that it was young and should be drunk quickly. It was also fashioned from several grapes.
Over time it became obvious that some grapes were better than others and some vineyards were better than others. Queimado's was one of those vineyards and Alvarinho was one of those grapes. His vineyard is also one of the few that is organic and sustainable.
As vineyards broke away from the coops and make their own wine, primarily from Alvarinho, a quiet revolution took place, the wines were more exciting and the area, even Vinho Verde itself, became more popular.
Alvarinho is the same grape as Spain's Albarino and thus follows the same profile. There is this flashy tropical component in the nose that continues on the palate, traversing from one side to the other. Flecks of clove and peach fly off as well and would do great service to saffron shrimp or Cioppino.