(2013) Made by the traditional method, this is a white sparkling wine made from Touriga Nacional, so effectively a Blanc de Noir. Grapes are sourced from various regions in Portugal, and the wine was aged on the lees for 36 months before release. This pours with a very pale colour and good stream of moderately small bubbles. The nose is fresh, a touch nutty, a touch herby, with some apple fruit character. On the palate there is a sweetness to this. The mousse if fairly modest, giving a gentle rolling effervescence, and the wine has a clean apple and pear fruit quality, maybe just hinting at peachy softness, but then plenty of acidity adds a tiny but enjoyable bitter twist to the finish. A simple wine, but balanced and enjoyable.
(2012) Discreet, delicate, abundantly mineral and taut aromas, hinting at downy peach skins, but the minerality is the key. That lovely under-ripe character that suits Malvasia so well - no hint of blowsy quality here, it is all about clarity but with no shortage of creamy texture and nicely judged fruit to keep this vital but not difficult in any way.
(2012) Cool, clear, gently smoky and ashy, lovely stuff. The oak adds some creaminess, but all about clarity. On the palate quite pure, cool and long. Certainly on the lean side - arguably a bit austere - but fresh and vital.
(2012) Delicate, beautifully fruity and floral around the edges. Terrific style on the palate, with a sour lemon tang and grip, but such delicate gossamer and peach down nuances to the flavours. Lovely stuff.
(2012) Dark, intense, blue-black fruit with a suppleness and tightly-wound, but silky character. On the palate this has lovely juicy freshness - not a lot of oak to encumber the lithe, polished fruit, but a bit of roughening tannin into the lean, mouth-watering finish.
(2012) Undergrowth and herby, woodland aromas, some creamy but quite delicate black fruit beneath. The palate has fine freshness and rounding, supple tannins to back it up. Touches of liquorice and cherry, but there's a little wild garrigue complexity too in the dry finish.
(2012) Another direct, delicate, cranberry and redcurrant fruit-style red with delicate barrel component barely discernible. Hugely tasty on the palate, a big flood of ripe berries and gentle leather and spice, but really quite elegant, the nip of rusticity in the tannins just ruffling the surface nicely.
(2012) Very classy, sophisticated stuff, immediately showing quality French oak sheen and polish, savoury black fruits beneath with a little raspberry lift. The palate is quite rich and full, but maintains a keen edge, the oak filling in, but the balance impeccable. More international in style than some, but absolutely beautifully done.
(2012) Julia Kemper, a lawyer by profession, has a passion for organic issues and when she had the opportunity to restore the family's vineyards, in the Dão region, converted them to 100% organic farming, with family friend Dirk Niepoort as winemaker. The blend is 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo), 15% Alfrocheiro and 10% Jaen, fermented in lagares before 12 months in French oak barrels. A serious, sinewy wine with meaty aromas and cedar and deep-set fruit. On the palate it is a touch austere perhaps, suggesting maybe a little time in the cellar will allow it to expand a little and loosen up, but undeniable concentration and quality.
(2011) Touriga Nacional and others. Graphite and mineral character, with tight, glossy black fruit and those little floral highlights. The palate has lovely freshness, with juicy cherry and plum skin bite to the acidity. This is deliciously poised between juicy fruit sweetness and fleshy approachability, and that more brooding, tightly wound muscular concentration.