Quinta de Foz de Arouce, Beiras
Lousã’s mountain ridge was never a production region of a size to justify a Denomination of Origin. The Foz de Arouce estate exists as an oasis in a place where there are no other producers close by; it only has its own very old vineyard traditions dating back to the XVIII century. In these schist soils, the estate occupies an area of approximately 50 ha, of which 15 are under vine. In spite of being outside of any DOC area - it’s actual designation being Beiras Regional – here the Baga grape variety has always been planted, the variety that made the neighbouring Bairrada region famous. What happens is that, away from its natural environment, with another soil and climate, this variety produces a very different red from its neighbours. The parcels of land of the estate are divided into 3 plots: one with 3 ha of old vines aged more than 60 years, where this Vinhas Velhas wine comes from; another with 9 ha which is now seven years old and the third one with 3 ha planted in 2006. The estate also produces a small quantity of white wine, made out of Cerceal grape variety. As for the rest of the vine varieties we can find Touriga Nacional (reds), Fernão Pires and Bical (whites).
This vinhas velhas (old vines) red has had a delicate treatment. The small production per ha (around 3 tons) was foot trodden, its fermentation ended in the stainless steel tanks and rested for a long maceration, after the fermentation process. Afterwards it went into new French oak barrels for fourteen months.
The result is a wine of aristocratic profile – although it is not evident whether it’s a Count or a Marquis (!) – concentrated, very rich in nuances where notes of very ripe fruit join in perfection with the barrel oak, a marriage which is always made more easy when using vines of such venerable age. The work at the winery, supervised by João Perry Vidal, is directed toward subtlety and finesse, resulting in a wine with a touch of poise. The time spent in the cellar will confer, we think, some increased richness.
Loin of veal, medium rare, could be the ideal partner for this luxurious wine.
Its junior partner is treated with equal care!
Quinta de Foz de Arouce white 2010
- 100% Cerceal, aged 5 months in new French oak.
Quinta de Foz de Arouce red 2008
- de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel, with temperature control. Post fermentation maceration. Aged 6 months in first and second year French and Portuguese oak barrels.
Quinta de Foz de Arouce red, Vinhas Velhas de Santa Maria (old vines) 2007
- de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel, with temperature control. Long post fermentation maceration. Malolactic in barrel. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels.