Monday, April 22, 2024

A true blend of the Dão! Casa de Mouraz Tinto (DAO) 2020

Casa de Mouraz Tinto (DAO) 2020, 13.5% ABV,
 Mary Pawle

A true blend of the Dão!

According to the label, there are no less than nine different grape varieties in this blend, coming from assorted vineyard plots of different ages, heights and exposures. A true blend of the Dão indeed.

The label for this 2020 vintage lists Touriga-Nacional, Tinta-Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Rufete, Caramate, Trincadeira, Tinto Carvalho and Baga. The grapes for this excellent red come from several vineyards of Casa de Mouraz “some of which are mentioned in documents from the 16th century”. They were no doubt organic then and are organic now.

It has an intense red colour with a violet hue and the legs are in no hurry to clear even though 13.5% ABV is not over the top. The aromas, with ripe rich red fruits, are quite intense. It is smooth and spicy, with a lovely kick of acidity, and a lingering finish. A serious drop indeed and Very Highly Recommended.

All the grapes are co-fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tank, followed by a long maceration. And 20% is aged for 8 or 9 months in used French oak barrels. Delicious with roast beef or barbecue, duck, rice and magre de canard. Also delightful with soft cheeses.

In 1997, Casa de Mouraz became the first biodynamic winery in the Dao. All went well until  October 2017. Late at night, their phone rang: Your warehouse is on fire! According to the excellent Foot Trodden, “savage forest fires.. had reached Dāo, thanks to Hurricane Ophelia…” Not only was the warehouse almost totally destroyed but the equipment around the yard and more than half of their 20 hectares of vines were also burned. A local news outlet put the cost at not less than €700,000.

Antonio and Sara were down. But not out. Helped by crowdfunding (from December 2017) they got back up and running and were soon producing this and other marvellous wines.

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