The young and ambitious winemaker Tiago Sampaio has truly had a life of the vine. What began as a childhood fascination from atop the shoulders of his grandfather, walking the many yards of vines and vegetables of his family’s farm, has become a career, an identity, a life that is now shared with people all over the world who enjoy the fruits of his efforts. A long academic career in agriculture, viticulture, and oenology in Portugal eventually landed him at Oregon State’s esteemed Viticulture and Oenology PhD. Once completed, Tiago returned to northern Portugal to start what has become one of the most exciting natural wine projects in all of Iberia. Working in the rough terrain of Alijó in a region known as the Alto Douro, the (mainly old, i.e. 80+ years, and native) vines are trained atop schist and granite soils at 1600-2300ft elevation.
Tasting Notes: Lemon drops and lavender on the nose. Citrus fruits and creme fraiche on the palate. That touch of lees contact lends some weight and creaminess, but the fruit has enough zippy acidity to provide levity. Serve chilled.
Vinification: Sourced from a vineyard in Vinho Verde’s ancestral home (the Lima Valley) this bottling is 100% Loureiro hand-harvested from vines grown in granite soils. Foot-stomped in Lagar (traditional Portuguese concrete vessels), the grapes macerate for 3 days and ferment, followed by a short maturation, in a combination of concrete egg and used chestnut barrel. Unfined, unfiltered with a .10mg/L addition of SO2 at bottling.