Portugal is remarkable for finding value and offers wines of character from indigenous varietals. Even if the Douro has cemented itself as the oldest demarcated region in the world, their red wines only became more familiar about 20 years ago. So how can one compare them to the reds of the Dao?
At the more premium end, the Douro can be powerful with fine tannins, and the Dao shows comparatively softer with plenty of refreshing acidity. As with all Portuguese reds, except for the fruity styled, these will age extremely well.
The granitic outcrop and pine tree lined region of the Serra d’Estrela is were Antonio Madeira came home too. To resuscitate neglected vineyards is ambitious, but can be achieved as a side project. The initial vintages were made in his parent’s vacation home, and within a few years the promising wines were so well received, he made it is calling and relocated the entire family to focus on micro-parcels and historic preservation of vines well above 100 years old.
Antonio cultivates over 20 plots across multiple villages, totaling 6 hectares of vines. Ferments and ages them now in his own winery producing around 6-7 cuvees each year. The wines are medium to full bodied, dark toned, energetic and perfumed, finishes spicy with plenty of layered fruit. We tried this over multiple days opened and the wine keeps on getting better at this stage. A blend of Tinta Pinheira, Negro Mouro, Tinta Amarela, Baga, and many more varietals, farmed biodynamically and aged for 18 months in neutral barrels. Alc 14.5%