Situated on a high plateau that is ringed to the north, east and south by mountains ranges that corral the cooling effect of the Atlantic, Portugal’s Dão region is renowned for wines of great elegance and finesse. And with this bottling, famed winemaker Alvaro Castro and his daughter Maria – champions of indigenous grapes and of expressing true terroir – make that case persuasively. Tinta Roriz (known across the border in Spain as Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro, Jaen, and Touriga Nacional (perhaps the country’s best known varietal) gives this wine both a vibrant, fresh fruitiness and a more supple, structured earthiness. On the nose, enticing cherry, red berry and sweet spice aromas mingle with touches of leather and tobacco. Despite the wine’s medium body, the initial bright fruit flavors turn rich and substantial on the mid-palate and usher in a refreshing wave of acidity and cleansing, mellow tannins. An underlying minerality from the granite and schist soils provides intrigue and helps keep everything in balance. The finish is tart, clean and dry – inviting another sip. Food match: garlic sausages, pulled pork sandwiches, barbequed lamb with rosemary or a rich, cheesy cauliflower casserole.
|The first historic references of Quinta da Pellada goes back to the year of 1570. Alvaro de Castro is a civil engineer who inherited this property in 1980; at the time he decided that to make something out of the estate, he had to give it full time attention. Rapidly the enthusiasm for the wine and viticulture made him decide to re-establish an old family tradition of winemaking, which had been broken for one generation. The first wine came with the 1989 vintage.