2017 Casal Figueira 'Tinto'
Region: Lisboa > Portugal
Vineyard/cellar stats: Organic and biodynamic farming; 70 year old, own-rooted vines on clay and sand soils; 200m elevation; whole cluster fermentation in stainless steel; short cold maceration, elevage continues in stainless steel with lees, no battonage or pump-overs; no chemical additives; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; 13.5% ABV; 250 cases
Winemaker: Marta Soares
Casal Figueira is a project founded by Antonio Carvalho and his wife, Marta Soares. The terroir is not especially sexy on paper; they take the IGP Vinho Regional designation rather than the more prestigious DOP. However, as with many
hidden gems in the wine world, the label does not tell the whole story. The vineyards are studded around the Serra de Montejunto, a mountain located just about an hour north of Lisbon. António passed away at the much-too-young age of 41. Tragically, but perhaps also fittingly for someone who had dedicated his life to wine, António’s heart gave out while he was treading grapes during the 2009 harvest. Marta has been able keep the project alive by applying what she learned while working alongside António and basically teaching herself to make wine. Marta believes that António’s spirit now lives on in the wine, allowing him to still have an impact on the world through his terroir-driven bottles.
It is apparent that this 'Tinto' is special, and very much alive, upon first sip. Bright ruby in the glass, with the slightest buzz of electricity and nervous tension on the tongue, there's a rush of crunchy red berry, black tea and red plum, followed by a wave of high-toned acidity and sea salt straight from the ocean. It ebbs and flows, evolving in the glass, completely mesmerizing. We think Antonio would be proud. Very limited quantities, but should be on everyone's wine bucket list.SERVE WITH A SLIGHT CHILL