(2019) The fact that the hot Douro Valley produces crisp and fresh, dry white table wines still comes as something of a surprise to many. Generally grown on the higher slopes, often orientated to the cooler north, the vineyards are harvested a little earlier which can produce wines wines like this one with good fruit, modest alcohol (12.5%), and retaining good natural acidity. It is an aromatic blend of many local varieties including Moscatel and Malvasia, unoaked, allowing the bright, floral and tropical fruit aromas to take centre stage. On the palate it is a genuinely lovely white wine, enough sweet mandarin orange and nectarine fruit to please everyone, but a lovely stripe of lemon zest acidity to give balance and length. Note that there are many independent stockists of this wine (use wine-searcher) but showing the 2016 or 2017 vintage. Stockist quoted is the only one showing 2018 at time of review, but do check as vintages move on all the time. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) Around 40% whole clusters her, aged in 500-litre barrels, 40% new. Lovely spice and blackberry infusion, a little tobacco and smoke, spicy pepper, cherry and liquorice, some firm damson fruit. The palate has a cool fruit precision, lots of shimmering acid and taut, fine tannins support a big raft of black fruit. Long and pure, such tang and citrus-bright acidity.
(2016) 35 year old bush vines from Stellenbosch, and the wine spends six months in older barrels. Deep, ripe and settled nose with honey and apple, a touch of lanolin perhaps. Delicious palate, rippling with ripe orchard fruit and a nice salt and lemon acidity.
(2016) A sense of ripe gaminess to this 2012, with meaty, smoky notes from the oak, but also a ripeness to the fruit. Lovely fruit sweetness comes through, the first wine of this five-wine tasting where the sweetness of the fruit is winning against the tannic heft of the structure, finishing on sweet fruit and spice. Plenty of sour cherry acidity to freshen the finish too.