Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: organic

Wine of the Week

Fresh north Lisboa tinta roriz

This is a wine from a winery that I’ve met several times at the Simplesmente Vinho fair in Porto. Quinta do Olival da Murta is located in the Cadaval area of the Lisboa region, near the mountain range Serra de Montejunto. Joana Vivas and her family make honest low-intervention wines here, only 15 kilometers from the Atlantic ocean, thus giving the wines a fresh, saline character.

José Vivas (photographed at Simplesmente Vinho 2021)

The soils are clay and limestone, and the vines are quite young, around 20 years. The gapes were harvested manually. The bunches were totally de-stemmed without crushing the grapes. Semi-carbonic fermentation was carried out in 500-liter French oak barrels, with indigenous yeasts, for one and a half days. The grapes were gently pressed in a vertical hydraulic press in a wooden basket. The fermentation process ended in barrels. Then it was aged 10 months in used 500 liter French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered.

Serra Oca Tinta Roriz 2022 (Quinta do Olival da Murta)

Ruby red. Aromas of fresh fruits (cherry, strawberry), with a layer of wild berries also. Fine tannins, fresh acidity and a saline finish.

Price: Medium-low

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Claro’s Colar

I have met Vítor Claro several times, and I’ve had the pleasure to taste his wines at the Simplesmente Vinho fair in Portugal. Vítor is a former chef, and has worked at a well-known restaurant owned by Dirk Niepoort. Now he makes wine together with his partner Rita Ferreira in Portalegre, Alentejo – from vineyards near the winery and in Colares.

They work naturally and so-called low-intervention. The wines are not clarified nor filtered, and sulphite is typically low (around 40mg total). The varieties are local, and the style is fresh, fruit-driven and elegant, with less alcohol than you might expect.

Colar is produced with grapes sourced in a tiny plot by the Adraga beach in the Colares wine region – in limestone soil with clay. Colar means necklace, but the word also hints to where the wine is from. It is made mainly with the red castelão and the white malvasia varieties, and as Vítor puts it, “seasoned” with the red caladoc. After a short maceration, it’s fermented in stainless steel, then aged for 6 months in concrete.

Dominó Colar 2021 (Rita Ferreira & Vítor Claro)

Ruby red. Aromas of red fruits (raspberry, strawberry), backed by flowers and herbs. It has technically a low acidity, but appears fresh and fruity. The weight is light, the tannins soft, and it has a nice salty finish.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Great white Godello

Verónica Ortega has been featured on this blog several times. Here is a bit of background.

Tormenta is a new wine beginning with the 2021 vintage, that has taken over from the fabulous Cal from the same municipality. I tasted this wine in a wine club tonight where my topic was The New Spain, illustrated by ten wines.

We are in the Bierzo area. 0.8 hectares of godello grapes are grown organically in a paraje called Garbanzal in the village San Juan de la Mata, north in the appellation. The vineyard is more than 25 years old on and sits on clay and calcareous soils, at 650 meters altitude. The grapes were harvested manually, destemmed and experienced a night’s cold maceration. The fermentation was spontaneous from native yeasts. It was completed after thirteen months in barrels and amphorae.

Tormenta 2021 (Verónica Ortega)

Light yellow colour. Floral scent with yellow apples, peaches and a hint of sultanas. Delicate in the mouth, dancing between dryness and softness, tasty with a lively acidity, and a marked minerality. It tends towards some sharpness, but this is just held back. A great wine

Price: High

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Askaneli’s saperavi

The Askaneli winery was founded in 1998 by the Chkhaidze brothers, taking its name from the village of Askana in the Kakheti region.

As the name implies Saperavi Qvevri is made from the saperavi grapes and vinified in qvevri, the typical Georgian earthen vessels.The Askaneli brothers make wine as it has been done for thousands of years in Georgia, still bringing out modern and stylish wines.

Saperavi Qvevri 2020 (Askaneli)

Dark red colour. Aromas of black and red fruits (blackberry, cherry), spices, a touch of earth. It’s quite full-bodied, though not heavy, firm tannins, and good mature fruit.

Price: Medium.

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Alternative Ribera

Pablo and Andrea of Magna Vides offer an alternative to the many oaky and heavy reds of Ribera del Duero. At their estate in La Aguilera (Burgos) they work eco-friendly in every possible way. This wine is made from garnacha grapes from 90 year old vines on sandy loam soils. They are fermented with stems and with local yeasts. It’s aged 12 months in used French barrels.

Alma de Cántaro Garnacha Tinta 2020 (Magna Vides)

Dark cherry red. Fresh aroma of raspberry, wild strawberries, plums and herbs. Clear and focused garnacha fruit on the palate, it’s juicy with timid tannins, and a fresh and lively fruit. It’s carefully extracted and with no disturbing wood influence.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Silky spätburgunder

Weingut Georg Mosbacher is a family-run vineyard comprising 20 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are located around the picturesque village of Forst in Pfalz. The farm is run today by the third generation Sabine Mosbacher-Düringer and her husband Jürgen Düringer.

The vineyards are protected by the high Haardt mountains, which lie in a semicircle around Forst. The grapes are hand-picked. The wine undergoes a cold maceration for 4-5 days before the must is spontaneously fermented in large oak barrels over 3 weeks. Aged for 12 months in used barriques and tonneau.

Spätburgunder 2021 (Georg Mosbacher)

Cherry red. Aroma of raspberry, cherry with hints of price and licorice. Silky palate with good fruit, adequate acidity and sweetish hint in the finish. It had a sense of CO2 that disappeared with airing.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Articles

A different Ribera

Magna Vides is located in La Aguilera, Ribera del Duero. Pablo Arranz and Andrea Sanz there offer a Ribera with a difference, in a region full of oaky wines with mature fruit. Their winery lies amidst organic vineyards, and brings out fresh and terroir-driven wines.

Vera Vides 2020 (Magna Vides)

Made with grapes from vines that are more than 50 years old. 75% tinta del país (tempranillo), with garnacha, bobal, monastrell and the white albillo major. Careful maceration, grapes treated separately before blending and 10 months ageing in used French barrels. Filtered gently before bottling.

Deep red. Dark fruits (morello, blackberry), red fruits (raspberry), herbs. Good volume, fine tannins, a cool acidity. Fresh and balanced.

Magna Vides 2018 (Magna Vides)

Made with tinta del país and a part of albillo mayor. Unique century-old vineyards located at three different sites in La Aguilera. The wine matures for about 14 months mainly in used barrels. It is filtered very gently.

Deep red with blue hint. Fresh aroma of dark fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant), red fruits, herbs, coffee. Good volume and concentration, firm tannins, good acidity, long aftertaste. It’s in a way powerful, but very balanced. Can age, but is surprisingly accessible.

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Unveiled: Douro white

After Simplesmente Vinho I visited Luis Seabra’s winery in the Douro. Luis himself was sick in bed, but Gonçalo Pinto was there. He showed us around, my Brazilian collegue Didu Russo and me. And we got to taste an impressive range of wines.

Véu de Xisto 2015 was one. This wine I tasted during the 2021 edition of the fair. Véu signifies that it has spent three years under a veil of flor. It was moved to stainless steel for another 2 years’ rest before bottling. The grapes are rabigato 70%, côdega do larinho 15% and the rest gouveio, from 30 year old vines in the Meda region of Douro Superior.

Véu de Xisto 2015 (Luis Seabra)

Golden colour. Aroma of yeasts, flowers, iodine, orange. Full and rounded in the mouth, good acidity and salt, with an attractive oxidative touch. A lot of energy and character.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Renvivas, a remarkable rufete

I spent 24 hours in Sierra de Salamanca, the smallest DO in Spain, and visited four of its fourteen producers. Viñas Serranas wasn’t originally on the program. But luckily I had a couple of hours break. And vinegrower Bosi Jiménez, who delivers grapes to Bodegas Cámbrico and showed me their winery, gave me Miquel Udina’s contacts. So the next day I arrived at their bodega (a former fruit cooperative) in the small village of Cepeda and tasted the whole range.

Bosi and Miquel are two of the four partners in this interesting project. Like in all the bodegas here the ingenious rufete is the dominant grape, a really promising variety. They also work with rufete blanco (no relation) and other local grapes. They own 12 hectares, small plots high up on terraces and always in goblet (called en vaso in Spain).

Renvivas can be regarded their top wine. It’s based on rufete sourced from a less than half a hectare plot in Miranda del Castañar, planted in 1930 on a steep hillside. But it also contains a small percentage of rufete blanco. The soil is varied with presence of both granite and the area’s special type of hard slate called corneana.

The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and partly whole clusters in stainless steel, then aged in barrels of old French oak. Low-sulphur, unfined and unfiltered.

Renvivas 2019 (Viñas Serranas)

Cherry red. Bright aroma of red fruits (cherry, raspberry), herbs, stone fruit. But it also has another layer of autumn leaves and smoke. Medium-bodied, textured palate with very fine tannins, great freshness and a long finish. It’s full of flavour, and yet so light and delicate.

Price: Medium

Leave a Comment

Wine of the Week

Nicely textured bastardo

Textura is another winery that I have known a little, but at Simplesmente Vinho I tasted the whole range. I find their portfolio sound and solid, with some stars.

Partners in Textura are Marcelo Araújo, a former hedge fund manager, and his wife, an academic professor. It was started in 2018 in Dão, on the slopes of Serra da Estrela. They work 28 ha of organic certified vineyards in Vila Nova de Tazem and Penalva do Castelo. Oenology is led by Luis Seabra. Appropriate for a winery named Textura, in 2020 they acquired a century-old textile factory in São Paio, on the banks of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. This is now renovated, and incorporated into the winery.

D. Áurea is a tribute to Marcelo’s grandmother Áurea. It’s a 100% bastardo from the sub-region Serra da Estrela, at an altitude of 600 meters and in granite soils. It ferments in an open stainless steel tank (lagar) with 30% whole clusters and stays with the skins for 15 days after pressing. Then it ages for 1 year in old French barrels.

D. Áurea 2021 (Textura Wines)

Light ruby. Delicate aromas of red fruits (raspberry, cherry), flowery with an earthy tone. Nicely textured, with fine-grained tannins, and a fresh integrated acidity. Expressive, elegant wine for immediate consumption or medium term ageing.

Price: High

Leave a Comment