(2018) A blend of indigenous varietieties Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, Viosinho, Códega and Touriga Franca grown on granite soils at 550 metres altitude, and given a full four years on the lees. There's a bold green apple fruitiness to this, aromatically touched by herbs and melon-skin character, a little breadiness. In the mouth the mousse is lively, and there's a touch of toast in the background, a slightly more phenolic feeling than a wine made from typical Champagne grapes, the 10g/l dosage leading to an easy and elegant finish.
(2018) What a terrific wine this is. Perhaps it's the fact that it is made by the traditional method from the Champagne grape Pinot Noir that has me on more familiar territory, but the beautiful fruit, depth, poise and substance of this wine with only 5g/l dosage made for fabulous drinking. Eight years on the lees has resulted in a touch of coppery depth to the colour and a nose of baked apple pie, lovely yeasty autolysis and a deep almost marmalade fruit note. In the mouth it is rich with a rolling mousse and such lovely, vivid flavours, small red berries etched by acidity, and long into the creamy beautifully balanced finish. A bargain for a wine of this quality.
(2018) A remarkable wine that spent a full 84 months - seven years - on the lees. It is made by the traditional method from the Gouveio variety, one of the traditional grapes of the Alto Douro's cool upper slopes. It's a very refined wine, the delicate fruit profile salty and lemony, but with a tiny floral touch and the long ageing on the yeast adding hints of toast. Crisp and bright on the palate, there's a hint of wheat and toast again, but that lovely dry lemon and orange rind fruitiness is delightful, a very modest 5g/l dosage giving this plenty of bite and raciness, yet it is not at all tart, the long ageing on the lees seeing to that, as well as part of the juice being barrel fermented, to give a certain weight and luxurious richness. Delicious and a huge bargain at its £21.95 price.
(2018) This vintage Brut is a blend of Touriga Franca, Gouveio and Malvasia Fina, with a little Viosinho and Rabigato. It spends a full four years on the lees and has developed fabulous toasty richness - again I am guessing ther is a barrel-aged component in this blend. Moderately deep in colour, the nose is fresh with ripe nutty apple and some floral aspects. In the mouth there's an obvious sweet ripeness from the fruit, but there's nothing blowsy or cloying here, the buoyant, clear fruit cut through with a fat lemony acidity that is deliciously easy to drink into a long finish. The extra lees and bottle age makes this another stand-out bargain at under £20.