Antonio Madeira 2018 Vinho Tinto, Dão, Portugal - DECANTsf

Antonio Madeira 2018 Vinho Tinto, Dão, Portugal

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Despite his exemplary Portuguese name, António is actually a Frenchman, brought up in Paris. He had a successful career as an engineer until the wine siren came calling and he was moved to return to his ancestral home in the Serra da Estrela, the high country which yields most of the Dão’s greatest wines – and Portugal’s best cheeses. He set out to find unknown or abandoned vineyards planted to old vines and made his first wine in 2011. Since then, he has expanded his sources to about 25 plots planted in eight hectares, all cultivated organically. He typically works with field blends, but has an understandable regard for Encruzado, which he is systematically replacing for Tinto Roriz. António is not the first grower we know who claims to be inspired by Burgundy (Fílipa Páto is another), but he is one of the few whose wines bear out the ambitious homage.

* Winemaker: António Madeira
* Farming: Biodynamic
* Variety: Alfrocheiro plus old vines field blend (20+ varieties)
* Terroir: Warm climate on Granite soils at 500m elevation
* Vinification: Hand-harvested, destemmed and macerated for two weeks in lagares (open vats), with gentle punchdowns, naturally fermented with native yeast in stainless steel
* Aging: 18 months in neutral French barrique
* Tasting Note: Juicy and fruity attack, mixed berries, cranberry.

 

António makes more of this than his other wines, so it might be considered his flagship. But it is still a relatively small production. An old vines field blend (23 varieties, with a lot of Jaen), its nose is both rocky and perfumed, while the palate brims with iron power, which leaves a strikingly long finish. The measure of grittiness seems entirely appropriate to such a serious and confident wine.


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