Menina d’uva

The Story

In 2017, Aline Domingues left Paris for Uva, a remote village on the Planalto Mirandês, a quiet and mostly desolate countryside in northeast Portugal. Born in 1989, in Cergy, a small suburb about twenty-five kilometers northwest of the center of Paris, she was the youngest of four children born to Portuguese parents. Immigrants from Uva, a minuscule and impoverished ancient village only thirty kilometer from the border of Spain, they came to France in search of better economic prosperity and to escape the dictatorship, like so many Portuguese in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Scientist First, Vigneron Second

Before Aline cut her own first vine and crafted her wine, she became a scientist. She spent seven years between the Universities of Paris Diderot, Dijon, Cergy, and Orléans. During that time, she earned an impressive haul of three Masters degrees in Molecular Biology, Fermentation Science, and QHSE (Quality Health Safety Environment)—the latter of which was more focused on workplace management.

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Lay of the Land

Lost in Portugal? You are not alone…

If the Trás-os-Montes or, for that matter, any Portuguese wines are new to you, you are in the same boat as a lot of wine professionals and consumers. Frankly, I consider myself ignorant on the subject given that the vast majority of my wine life has been focused on the wines of France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and more recently Northwestern Spain. But what keeps wine interesting to most of us is that there’s always something new around this subject; it’s a choose-your-own-adventure that always reminds us how little we know about the subject no matter how long we study it.

Trás-os-Montes is the obscure within the already globally obscure world of Portuguese wines. (There’s even a wine from the Trás-os-Montes aptly named, The Lost Corner.) This is a consequence of many historical factors, including vine diseases, phylloxera, alien mildews from the new world, wars, poverty, and a dictatorship; you know, the typical European wine region challenges. Also, the commercial wines in Trás-os-Montes perhaps are and may have always been too rustic for the American wine consumer weaned on fruit-forward domestic wines, other more enologically polished wines from famous European regions, as well as various new world wines with more common grape names and familiar euro-phonetics found inside American culture.

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Menina d’Uva - 2019 Vinho Tinto, Palomba

Price: $28.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Mineral, Elegant and Aromatic

The Wine

The wine that brought us to Menina d’uva was Palomba. I first had it in a well-known restaurant in Braga with a reputable list, called Delicatum. The following day after some research I introduced myself in what has become the new traditional way, on Facebook, of course, and the rest is history. What drew me to this wine was its complete gulpability that didn’t take away from its seriousness. Plus, I’d not tasted a wine like this from Portugal; but then again, I am a mere enfant at this stage of understanding the broad depth and diversity of Portuguese wines. Palomba has a deep color, but a bright freshness and tastes redder and more sweetly floral in tone than it looks. This is the kind of energizing surprise I like in a wine.

Palomba is made of 90% Negreda, also known as Mouratón in Spain. The vine is known to produce big, juicy, dark-colored berries but with surprisingly very little tannin. It’s mixed with other reds few outside of Portugal have heard of, like Uva de Rei, Moscatel Preta, Moscatel Roxo, among others. It comes from five different plots located in the villages of Uva, Mora and Vale de Algoso, and is grown on a mixture of schist and quartz scattered about on the surface of the vineyards. However, a walk through many of the plots revealed stone walls made with gneiss, slate, and schist—a clear indicator that in this area it’s not so simple to precisely say what the bedrock is underfoot even in small parcels. What’s interesting about this is that you can feel these things in the wine, despite the claim from some scientists that this is impossible. The pressure points within Aline’s wines are deep and fully mouth filling while remaining ethereal and tense. I tasted this wine out of barrel a few times and its texture was as profound and as deep as any unfinished wine I’ve tasted.

In the cellar, Palomba was about one-third destemmed by hand, and the fermentation lasted for two weeks and gently extracted throughout by foot. Negreda has a tendency for taking on reductive characteristics and needs more time in the bottle before digging in. Aline’s wine, Ciste, by contrast, is off to the races very quickly. Both wines mirror their maker and are filled with generosity, joy, calm, energy, and wit.

About The Wine

The wine that brought us to Menina d’uva was Palomba. I first had it in a well-known restaurant in Braga with a reputable list, called Delicatum. The following day after some research I introduced myself in what has become the new traditional way, on Facebook, of course, and the rest is history. What drew me to this wine was its complete gulpability that didn’t take away from its seriousness. Plus, I’d not tasted a wine like this from Portugal; but then again, I am a mere enfant at this stage of understanding the broad depth and diversity of Portuguese wines. Palomba has a deep color, but a bright freshness and tastes redder and more sweetly floral in tone than it looks. This is the kind of energizing surprise I like in a wine.

Palomba is made of 90% Negreda, also known as Mouratón in Spain. The vine is known to produce big, juicy, dark-colored berries but with surprisingly very little tannin. It’s mixed with other reds few outside of Portugal have heard of, like Uva de Rei, Moscatel Preta, Moscatel Roxo, among others. It comes from five different plots located in the villages of Uva, Mora and Vale de Algoso, and is grown on a mixture of schist and quartz scattered about on the surface of the vineyards. However, a walk through many of the plots revealed stone walls made with gneiss, slate, and schist—a clear indicator that in this area it’s not so simple to precisely say what the bedrock is underfoot even in small parcels. What’s interesting about this is that you can feel these things in the wine, despite the claim from some scientists that this is impossible. The pressure points within Aline’s wines are deep and fully mouth filling while remaining ethereal and tense. I tasted this wine out of barrel a few times and its texture was as profound and as deep as any unfinished wine I’ve tasted.

In the cellar, Palomba was about one-third destemmed by hand, and the fermentation lasted for two weeks and gently extracted throughout by foot. Negreda has a tendency for taking on reductive characteristics and needs more time in the bottle before digging in. Aline’s wine, Ciste, by contrast, is off to the races very quickly. Both wines mirror their maker and are filled with generosity, joy, calm, energy, and wit.