Morgado do Quintao Clarete
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Morgado do Quintão, owned by Filipe Vasconcellos, is an historic estate with thousand-year-old trees in DOC Lagoa located in Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. The property encompasses 60 hectares of vineyards which have been in his mother’s family for generations. Recognizing the potential of these old vines, Filipe recruited winemaker Joana Maçanita for her viticulture insight and the minimal interventionalist approach to winemaking that matches the Vasconcellos family’s philosophy. Joana Maçanita, born in Lisbon with family from Algarve, Azores and Alentejo, brings not only engineering and agronomy degrees but also an extensive knowledge of Portugal’s terroir and a commitment to the same mission as Filipe: to show the potential of indigenous grape varieties Crato Branco and Tinto Negra Mole.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Morgado do Quintão Clarete is made from the second oldest indigenous grape variety in Portugal, Tinta Negra Mole. The medium-bodied red wine made from dry-farmed rare 40+ yr old vines was formerly reserved only for family and friends of the winery, but now can be enjoyed by those fortunate enough to experience the potential of Tinta Negra Mole when agricultural expertise has been applied.
100% 40+ year old Tinta Negra Mole. Organically farmed (non-certified)
Pairs well with Mediterranean cuisine including falafel with hummus, lamb gyro with tzatziki, doner kebab as well as traditional Feijoada, a rich black bean stew with beef and pork and bifanas, marinated pork cutlet sandwiches.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Focus on minimal intervention. Tinta Negra Mole is susceptible to uneven ripening so to avoid underripe grapes entering the press the winery completes several passes through the vineyard, harvesting in stages. After careful selection the grapes are pressed and macerated on the skins for 27 hours. The fermentation is intentionally slow and gentle at a cool 54 degrees Fahrenheit and then aged for 10 months in stainless steel to develop and maintain integrity of aromatic components. A small amount of sulfur added at bottling only. Filtered, but not fined. Vegan
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The estate is home to a 7 hA vineyard located 261 ft above sea level in DOC Lagoa (Algarve). The vines are only 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean’s cool maritime influence yet warmed by the Levante winds from Africa, and the average yearly temperature is between 57-60 degrees F. Sunny Algarve is known for exceptional ripening conditions, with 3000 to 3500 daylight hours per year. The soil here is known as arenitos: iron-rich sandy loess mixed with limestone.
Ruby red core with purple hues running throughout. This elegant medium-bodied red has lively ripe red and black currant lift on the front palate with hints of lavender and mace and allspice filling out the finish. A dried black cherry note lends weight without heft. As in the noble tradition of French Claret, this wine is not over-extracted and exceedingly consumable.