Bela Sombra Reserva, Limited Edition, Quinta da Alorna, 2013
Vinification: Pre-fermentative cold maceration for two days. Delastage technique for color extraction during alcoholic fermentation. After malo-lactic fermentation, the three grapes are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. After bottling, the wine ages for 3 months.
Nose: Black berries and jam aromas due to grapes maturation. Ageing in French oak barrels gave it spicy notes.
Palate: Well balanced and soft tannins.
Tasting Note: Long lasting finish, remaining ripped plums and coffee.
Gastronomy: Perfect to serve with roasted or stewed meat.
Black Pig Distillery – Costa Alentejana Gin (50cl – 40% Vol.)
– The Gin Black Pig Costa Alentejana (Alentejo Coast) is a sensory experience, that reflects an immense blue sea, golden beach sands, monumental cliffs and breath taking views of an alentejo coast full of colors and aromas. This incredible coast has the climate that serves as a sanctuary for the gin’s botanicals that inspire this gin. The citric flavours, filled with freshness from the alentejo lemons, wild fragancies from the dune’s junipers, the delicate flower touch of the rosemary are the essence of this gin. Symbol of the preservation, respect and harmony with the ecosystem, the “Pata Negra”, is the flagship of the Alentejo, representing a territory where he always lived. From this perfect symbiosis between nature, the alchemy of aromas and the production process, an ecological cycle is created, from the harvest to the bottle. More than a gin, a perfume, that essence that makes you close your eyes and to do that time travel that awakes your senses and remembers you of the aromas from the trails, dunes and sea of the Alentejo Coast.
– This gin won the gold medal in the Frankfurt International Trophy 2019 and in the Women ́s wine and spirits awards 2019
– Botanicals: Alentejo Lemon, Gumrock rose, pennyroyal, french lavender, rosemary, ginger and other botanicals picked up from the Vicentine route.
Black Pig Distillery – Montado Alentejano Gin (50cl – 42% Vol.)
– The Gin of the Montado personifies the rural identity of the Alentejo and of an unique ecosystem, the “Montado”. Between Oak Olms and Holm Oaks, in perfect harmony with nature and Alentejo’s traditions, it’s produced a dry Gin, where the essencies of the earth prevail. In the fields, the “Pata Negra”, the lord of the “Montado” lives and it’s the inspiration source that contributes in a decisive manner to the preservation of this mediterranean ecosystem. Excusively produced with biological botanicals, from cork, to acorn and carob, they are picked up and distilled and posteriorly reinstated in the ecosystem, respecting nature’s balance. From this perfect symbiosis between nature, the alchemy of aromas and the production process, an ecological cycle is created, from the harvest to the bottle. To experience this Gin, an unique experience, is to remember and live the Alentejo, “Patrimony of time”
– This gin won a great gold medal, in the international Virtus awards 2019, being considered the best gin in the competition, a gold medal in the Stuttgart International Spirits Competition 2019, gold medal in the China Wine & Spirits Awards, a silver medal in the Gin Super premium category in the Luxury Masters 2019 and a gold medal in the Women’s wine and spirits awards 2019.
– Botanicals: Carob, acorn, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts and other botanicals handpicked in the montado from Alentejo
Black Pig Distillery – Rum Ilha do Pessegueiro (70cl – 38.6% Vol.)
– Ilha do Pessegueiro (Peach Island), mythical place of legends and pirate histories serve as inspiration for this Rum. An intense Rum, influenced by the spices obtained in the old trade routes by historical portuguese navigators that explored remote parts of África and Asia and with botanicals from the Alentejo. With this Rum, we reinvent a classic drink, through identitary aromas from the portuguese maritime history with contemporary caracther of the Alentejo. An incomparable Rum, for unforgettable moments, that remind you of Portugal and Alentejo.
– Botanicals: Molasse of the sugar cane, vanilla, virginia tobacco leaves, coffee grains, peaches and other botanicals from the Alentejo Coast.
Casal Mendes – Rosé, Bairrada, Portugal
A delicious Portuguese classic – serve it cold
Refreshing and fruity rosé, bursting with aromas of strawberries and raspberries. On the palate the wine is soft and fruity with a light spritz. Nice fresh acidity and a touch of sweetness on the finish.
Casal Mendes – Vinho Verde, Minho, Portugal
Classic white produced from indigenous Portuguese varities in the northern Vinho Verde region.
Delicate citrus aromas lead onto a soft, rounded and slightly off dry palate with a light spritz. It combines apple and floral characters with soft tropical notes and fresh acidity on the finish.
Conciso Tinto, Niepoort, 2015
– Conciso is the Niepoort interpretation of a fine and elegant Dão, a wine that shows the full potential and character of a very old vineyard. This centenarian vineyard, planted in granite soil and facing east on the slopes of Serra da Estrela, has mixed varieties where Baga and Jaen are predominant.
Croft – Vintage Port, 2007
Deep purple black with narrow magenta rim. The heady and powerfully aromatic nose displays a characteristic abundance of rich plump fruit and the exotic notes of eucalyptus and rock rose which are the hallmark of the Quinta da Roêda wines on which the blend is based. Juicy and luscious on the palate, with discreet and well fused tannins and a long generous finish.
93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“There is a nice limpidity on this Croft 2007. It is not the power that strikes you but the purity with black cherries, liquorices, violets and a hint of iodine. Very tight and focused. The palate is full-bodied with chewy tannins on the entry, pure blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and Asian spice towards the finish. Very fine focus, very pure and harmonious. Sensuous finish but it just tapers away when I need more grip and assertiveness. Still, this is a lovely Croft.” Neal Martin, May 2009.
92 points Wine Spectator.
“Shows aromas of very ripe fruit and sweet tobacco, with hints of earth and spices. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with round, velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. Likeable for its soft texture. Best after 2016. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.” (05/09)
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The 2007 growing season was preceded by a wet winter that replenished water reserves after four hot, dry years. The humid conditions continued into spring and early summer with lower than average temperatures combined with periods of rain. There were no significant periods of intense heat during the summer months. This ensured that the leaf canopies were in an exceptionally healthy condition and able to benefit from the warm weather that preceded the harvest.
The first two weeks of September saw constant daily temperatures of between 35ºC and 38ºC. These warm and dry conditions brought the crop to perfect maturity, advancing the production of sugar and phenolics while retaining the excellent natural acidity resulting from the relatively cool summer. As a result the harvest produced perfectly balanced musts which have produced stylish and elegant wines, full of vitality, with a superb fresh concentrated fruit character.
Croft – Vintage Port, 2011
The heady scents and opulent ripe fruit which define the Croft Vintage Port style are supported by a mesh of taut, muscular tannins. These, together with impressive depth of flavour, make the 2011 one of the most structured and powerful of recent Croft vintages.
Deep purple black colour. The complex seductive nose has the archetypal Croft opulence but displays impressive depth, background and reserves of aroma. A rich, powerful fruitiness provides the backdrop for heady scents of blossom and rock rose. Luscious ripe berry fruit flavour surges though the palate. The wine’s velvety texture is underpinned by taut, muscular, perfectly integrated tannins which provide stamina with an attractive firmness and vigour to the finish. More virile and structured than some recent Vintages from this classic house, the 2011 nevertheless displays all the rich ripe fruitiness and exotic scented character associated with the Croft house style.
97 Points Wine Spectator
“Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish. Best from 2020 through 2045.” Kim Marcus, September 2013
95 Points James Suckling
“Beautiful aromas of violets and blueberries with hints of blue slate. Full body, medium sweet with chewy tannins and a long, long finish. A leafy, stemmy, nutty undertone to this with hints of shaved milk chocolate. Very refined and beautiful.” May 2013.
95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2011 Croft is initially taciturn on the nose, even after allowing it 20 minutes in my glass. A light swirling immediately awakens the aromatics to offer blackberry, Seville orange marmalade, blueberries and dried fig – complex and quite compelling. There is real mineralité within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety-smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath. It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Fonseca. But Croft has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years.” Neal Martin, Eroberparker.com,
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The winter preceding the 2011 harvest was cold and wet. The weather station at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda registered 496 mm of rainfall between 1st November and 31st March compared to a 30-year average of 358mm. The rain proved very beneficial, replenishing depleted ground water reserves and allowing a balanced ripening of the grapes during the hot dry summer which followed. Budburst occurred at the normal time towards the end of the third week of March and wet and relatively warm conditions in April encouraged vigorous growth. From early May conditions turned generally dry and remained so for most of the summer.
Only 12 mm of rain fell at Roêda in the months of May, June and July compared to a 30-year average of 105 mm. In spite of the arid conditions the vines were able to draw water from the ground reserves providing ideal conditions for balanced ripening of the grapes. The hot dry weather in August was broken at the ideal moment by two spells of rainfall, on 21st August and 1st September, which rounded off the ripening season and produced a balanced and evenly mature crop.
Picking began at Quinta da Roêda on 10th September in excellent harvesting conditions. Fermentation times were long, allowing for complete and even extraction, and the musts in the quinta’s lagares showed exceptionally intense colour and aroma.
Esporao Private Selection Branco, 2016
– Private Selection White was created in 2001 with a desire to challenge the classic profile of great Alentejo white wines. To achieve this, we decided to base the wine on the underated Semillon variety and the use of new French oak barrels for fermentation and maturation. With growing the vineyard maturity and a careful selection of barrel suppliers the solid, rich and complex style of this wine has been reinforced over the years
– The Semillon grapes used in this wine were planted on the Herdade dos Perdigões estate, which belongs to Esporão, in 1996, using northwest/southwest exposure in order to maximize fruit protection from extreme sunlight.
Crystal clear straw.
Ripe fruits with tropical notes and well integrated discrete toasty french oak, complex.
Rich and unctuous, with elegance and balance, long and persistent.
Esporao Private Selection, Garrafeira Tinto, 2012
– Esporão Private Selection Red is a continuation of the Esporão Garrafeira Tinto, first launched in 1987. Initially it was a choice of the best barrels of Esporão Reserva and, over time, we understood our vineyards better, naturally evolving to a selection of the best fields of our Estate. At the end of the 90s we built an exclusive winery for him, becoming the center of our attention. The Private Selection is our conception of a classic Red wine Alentejo wine: intense and rich but without exaggeration, balanced in the mouth but with good potential of guard. In the nose it is more tense than usual, with suggestions of blue fruit and graphite, well wrapped in notes of toast and spices. In the palate it shows firmness, quite freshness, generous but well fused tannins, great structure and elegance. (Herdade do Esporão)
Fonseca – Vintage Port, 2007
94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2007 Fonseca Vintage Port is opaque purple-colored with a high-class perfume of lavender, Asian spices, pencil lead, incense, and an amalgam of black fruits. On the palate it is voluminous with layered, succulent fruit, outstanding density, and excellent integration of tannin, acidity, and alcohol. The long finish and the wine’s impeccable balance suggest a lengthy evolution and a drinking window extending out to 2045.” (2/2010)
96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A limpid purple garnet core. The nose is quintessential Fonseca, like a riotous party reaching its crescendo in the glass. Macerated black cherries, eau-de-vie, damson, fig and a touch of Seville orange. Then what is fascinating is that the uproar dies down with aeration, becomes more focused…as if the host has asked everyone to quieten down. The palate is powerful and spicy on the entry, sweet ripe black berried fruits, a touch of spice, fig and apricot, lovely cohesion and weight building towards a deeply joyous finish that lacquers the mouth in port-like reverie. Perhaps more approachable than the 2000 or the 2003 at this stage, this is a marvellous Fonseca.” Neal Martin May 2009 – Score 96
94 Points Wine Spectator
“A subtle yet powerful young Vintage Port, with freshly sliced plum, citrus and mulberry on the nose. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a solid core of powerful tannins and a long, balanced finish. So tight and reserved. Muscularly structured. Best after 2017.” (5/2010)
Fonseca has belonged to the first rank of Vintage Port producers since the mid-nineteenth century. Fonseca Vintage Ports are noted for their luscious fruitiness which develops great opulence and complexity with age. Wines born of inspired winemaking and a thorough understanding of viticulture and terroir, they appeal, perhaps more than any other house’s Vintage Ports, to the enthusiast and connoisseur.Vintage Ports represent the finest produce of a single exceptional year. Unlike Ports which age in wood, Vintage Ports will continue to age and improve in bottle for decades, their character bearing the imprint of both vineyard and wine maker.A constant thread that runs through the history of Fonseca is the family’s close involvement with the making of the firm’s Vintage Ports. Throughout the 20th century, the making of Fonseca Vintage Ports was overseen by only four family members, Frank, Dorothy, Bruce and David Guimaraens and this has helped to make Fonseca one of the most stylistically consistent of Vintage Port producers.The firm’s Vintage Ports are drawn from its own quintas or estates: Cruzeiro and Santo António in the Pinhão Valley, which have contributed to the firm’s Vintage Port blend for 100 years, as well the Távora Valley property of Panascal. Fonseca is unique among Port houses in making three different types of Vintage Port.
Fonseca Vintage Ports are released only when a year produces outstanding wines with long term ageing potential. These classic Vintage Ports are a blend of wines from Cruzeiro, Santo António and Panascal. Cruzeiro contributes concentrated black fruit flavours and firm tannic ‘grip’. Panascal adds an opulent luscious fruitiness and a dense velvety texture. Finally, Santo António brings complexity and vibrancy with its fine scented character and fresh acidity.
Although they can be enjoyed when young, Fonseca Vintage Ports will continue to improve in bottle for many decades. They have the stamina and aromatic potential to last for over a hundred years. Attracting the highest scores and auction prices, they are favoured not only by fine wine enthusiasts but also by collectors and investors.
Gin 13 (70cl – 40% Vol.)
– Bright zesty orange and a pang of liquorice, with an underlay of spiciness from cardamon and peppery juniper.
– Gin 13 is a Portuguese gin with a very literal name, because it’s made with a selection of 13 botanicals, including tangerine, almond, liquorice, jasmine flower and black tea.
Distillation of all the botanicals occurs in traditional stills four times, except for the lemon and lemongrass, which are added to the basket of botanists.
The 13th ingredient of this gin is also interesting, as it is the humble hop, which is typically associated with brewing beer.
One for superstitious, the bottle design references the unlucky number and its symbolism, as its dotted with black cats, clovers and skulls.
Herdade do Esporão – Alandra Rosado, Alentejo, N/V
– A bright blush in the glass the aromas are fragrant with strawberry and raspberry aromas dominating with an attractive hint of peppermint playing in the background. The palate offers a well balanced and elegant affair with minimal sweetness and shows off the strawberry and raspberry notes from the nose. Dry Style with natural fruit sweetness.
Herdade do Esporão – Monte Velho Branco, Alentejo, 2019
Crystal clear, pale straw colour. Fresh white stone fruits with citric notes. Firm, intense and well balanced palate, persistent aromatic fruit with a long finish.
86 Points Wine Enthusiast (2013 vintage)
“Soft and round, this is a wine that has the warmth of the Alentejo coupled with a tangy, fresh slice of lemon. Blending Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum, it’s a wine to drink now, or just age for a few months.”
Herdade do Esporão – Monte Velho Tinto, Alentejo, 2017/18
Clear deep ruby colour. Berry fruit aromas with some complex subtle toasty notes. Elegant palate with good depth of fruit and a fine tannic structure.
85 Points Wine Enthusiast (2012 vintage)
“A solid, dry, gently tannic wine that has a full and fruity character. Acidity and a dry core provide structure, while black berry and dark cherry fruits offer ripe contrast. It’s a wine to drink now and until 2019.”
Herdade do Esporão – Quatro Castas, Alentejo, 2014/17
Deep colour and intense. Aroma scented with berries, ensnared in subtle spicy notes.Solid and dense palate with creamy texture, highlighting the ripe fruit wrapped in fine tannins give it structure and a long and elegant finish.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“Still young and showing fresh fruitiness, this wine needs time to calm down and broaden out. Made of four classic varieties in the Esporão vineyard, it’s dense, stalky and still full of tannins. Give this wine until 2016.”