(2018) One of my all-time favourite wines from Portugal, Mouchão in 2013 is a bit of a stunner. A blend of Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira, foot trodden, and made in a big, old oak vats, it always strikes me as a cross between Burgundy and the Rhône, with the perfume and soulful character of the former, and spice and juicy structure of the latter - while, of course, being entirely its own wine. A beautiful medley of ripe black berries, sweet earth, subtle spicing and floral touches leads on to a palate that is sumptuous and deep, yet light in both texture and its freshness: an alert, life-force of a wine, the tannins and juicy acids giving lots of attack and tension, and suggesting this will only improve with cellaring, but already giving great pleasure with its core of firm, savoury fruit.
(2016) A short maceration and fermentation in concrete tanks, followed by one year in barrel (10% new). It is 100% Listán negro and comes across as quite fruit-forward and concentrated - delicious, and seems fruitier and more dense than the 2013, though without the sense of Atlantic-influenced alertness. Drink: 2015-2020
(2016) From four specific plots, the 100% Listán Blanco in this 2013 release comes from 130-year-old vines. Superb nose, like a fine Meursault, so nutty and braced, those subtle complex flint notes again, but rounder and more generous. Superb body and a beautiful, limpid wine of shimmering elegance. Drink: 2015-2020
(2016) Made in concrete tanks with a short maceration, followed by one year in barrel. It is 95% Listán negro with some Listán blanco "and others," according to the winemaker. A hint of gamy character to this, something a little wild and exotic, that dry cherry extract on the palate gives it lovely energy and lift, the minerality and cool Atlantic influence obvious and delicious.
(2016) A composed and relatively discreet nose that's earthy and cool, but there's so clearly a flood of fruit waiting beneath, silky juicy and dark. The palate has a hugely sweet mid-palate flooded with that cherry plum and blackcurrant juiciness. The spices and fruit purity and the fruit tannins drive the finish.
(2015) On my visit to Dauvissat his 1er Cru Preuses and Grand Cru Le Clos both earned the same high score, with Vaillons just a point behind, but I have chosen this wine to highlight because I loved the ultra-cool, almost vegetal streak to this, something reminiscent of grass or asparagus maybe, adding an extra dimension to a wine still utterly etched by its minerality, saltiness and beguiling austerity. Hugely decisive on the palate, it has enormous mineral concentration and streaking vegetal acidity that is so cool, so austere, but so brilliant in all senses of the word.