Last week I visited Mateus Nicolau de Almeida in Foz Côa, in the Douro Superior. This is really the land of rabigato. One of his rabigato whites I was coincidentally offered at the Prova wine bar in the center of Porto some days later.
Mateus comes from a family that has made wine for several generations, and in 2015 he set up his own project. He is dedicated to explore the characteristics of the terroir. This can be seen in the Eremitas project, that comprises three wines, all from the same variety, but reflecting various terroirs.
Amon de Kelia originates from a vineyard planted in moderately deep quartz soils at an altitude of 500 metres. The grapes are macerated in granite for 3 hours. Then they pressed in a vertical press, and the must is racked by gravity into cement in an underground cellar, where it ferments spontaneously without temperature control.
Eremitas Amon de Kelia 2022 (Mateus Nicolau de Almeida)
Light straw. Discrete aromatics with yellow fruits, flowers and a mineral touch. More expressive in the mouth, with good volume, it’s fruity, fresh, and with a nicely integrated acidity.