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Castelão Ânfora 2022

Castelão Ânfora 2022 is made of Castelão grapes from our Atlantic vineyard above the Estoril coast in Lisbon. We only produce just over 400 bottles via a meticulous handcraft approach. Whole bunches of grapes are put in 200l clay amphorae and spontaneously fermented to dry. The amphorae are cooled down with water, and the grapes are punched down into their juice twice or three times a day. After pressing, the wine goes back into one of the two amphorae and ages here for another 10 months.

The wine brings together three traditional handcraft winemaking techniques. Fermenting whole bunches including branches tremendously increases the tannin concentration in the wine. This would be unbearable with classical winemaking methods, unless one let’s the wine age for 10 or 15 years. The use of traditional clay amphorae for both fermentation and aging provides a tool to deal with this high tannin concentration, as clay as a material is very porous and hence provides the tannins with oxygen, so that they can “play” and build larger molecules. Spontaneous fermentation in turns provokes a multitude of indigenous yeasts to enter into a competition, each metabolizing aroma compounds in a slightly different ways, thus creating chemical diversity which eventually will materialize in aroma complexity.

The combination of these three traditional tools – whole bunch fermentation, spontaneous fermentation, use of clay amphorae – create here an extraordinary, outstanding red wine, driven by a great acidity, wonderful body and blackberry and spice aromas. It’s a wine to drink now or to keep somewhere safe, for a great day to come!

Click here for Portuguese.