2015 Quinta da Serradinha Rosé
Region: Encosta D’Aire < Portugal
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; Limestone/calcareous soils. Destemmed into an open press, pressed directly into a 150-year old, 1000 L Amphora, where it spends 9 months on lees; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 30 ppm SO2; 10.8% ABV
Winemaker: António Marques da Cruz
Historic Quinta da Serradinha is a tiny, family-owned winery on the limestone slopes of the Serra d´Aire, about 20 km from the Atlantic coast. This is a rare Portuguese cool climate region (due to ocean proximity), producing wines with refreshing minerality and low alcohol. Antonio took over his family’s farm and led the conversion to organic certification in 1994, making him the poster child for a new generation of winemaking in Portugal. He is one of the first in the Encosta D’Aire region to go organic, promote indigenous varietals and low intervention practices – which created a lot of controversy with neighbors and in Portugal, where organic/natural isn’t really a thing yet. Don’t be put off by the bright pink color – the Castelão grape is super dark, so even the briefest skin contact in pressing produces brilliant pink juice. But there is nothing sweet, sappy or big about this wine. Extremely savory and bone-dry, with bright, tart fruit (think green strawberries) and less than 11% alcohol, you can drink this baby all day, with practically anything on the table.