Tapada do Chaves
More in-depth content will be posted soon. In the meantime, here is a short teaser:
There are few Portuguese wineries as mythical as Tapada do Chaves. Its line of extraordinary successes produced from vines planted in 1901 and 1903 by Senhor Chaves fell off the map when they were sold in the 1990s to a sparkling wine company. The property’s fortune changed with its purchase in 2017 by Fundação Eugénio de Almeida under the direction of Pedro Baptista, one of Portugal’s most celebrated oenologists most famously known for producing Pera Manca, some of the country’s most prized (and expensive) wines. Immediately these historic vineyards planted on a unique granite massif that towers over the flatter lands more typical of Alentejo below were converted to biodynamic farming, priming Tapada do Chaves to reassert itself as one of Portugal’s most preeminent terroirs. The white wines are blends of Arinto, Assario, Fernão Pires, Tamarez, and Roupeiro, with the reds Trincadeira, Grand Noir, Aragonez, and Alicante Bouschet.
Tapada do Chaves - 2018 Alentejo, Branco
24+ in stock
Inside the bottle: This little organic gem is raised only in stainless steel. It is refreshingly acidic with a surprising level of minerality, fresh citrus notes, salt and extremely subtle sweet grass notes. It is very charming and with a very low alcohol content (11%) so that you can drink many of them in one sitting! Indeed, great for a summer day with or without food, but with food, it is just perfect. As I went from restaurant to restaurant between Lisbon and Porto, I asked all of them about Quinta do Ameal. They all said without hesitation that it was the best producer in Vihno Verde. I believe it.
When I was last in Portugal, I drank Quinta do Ameal’s wines with every type of food, from slow-roasted suckling pig, braised and BBQ’d octopus, and Portuguese sea bass that was caught about 15 miles from where this wine is made. Those three dishes were the very best examples of those meats that I have ever had in my life.
Terroir: The recipe here is very simple. Evening ocean breezes keep this area mild in the evening while keeping the daytime temperatures modest. The soil is made purely of granite and therefore imparts gentleness alongside of the intense acidity. The vineyards are organically farmed since the year 2000.