100% Castelao from Torres Vedras, Portugal, a coastal city north of Lisbon. 80% of the grapes are destemmed and 20% are left whole-cluster. The grapes are fermented with native yeasts in a stainless steel tank. During fermentation, the grapes go through daily punch-downs, although the delicate skins never give away much extraction. After 10 months of elevage, the wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, with a touch of SO2. The result is a light, silky chilled red, with delicate blue fruits on the palate and a subtle peppery spice.
A stone’s throw from the Atlantic ocean, Pedro Marques grew up on his family’s property among the vines. A fifth-generation winemaker, he broke from filial tradition by both formally studying and practicing viticulture - more specifically, organic viticulture. The thirteen hectare estate, led by Pedro, has pioneered a movement in the Torres Vedras DOC to move toward lower yield, more terroir-driven wines while historically the DOC has been known for its bulk production. He literally cut with the past in 2007 when replanting the vineyard with local, native grape varieties like Fernao Pires, Arinto, Gouveio, Alvarinho, Castelao, and Touriga Nacional. As such, these are young vines. The grapes are not necessarily the entire story though: the unique climate and rare soil of this estate vault the character of these wines into something truly profound. Salty, briny, stony: the air creates a sense of majesty; the soil is pristine limestone with deep age. These are kimmeridgian limestone hills, with token clay deposits, where fossils are nearly common. Unfined, unfiltered, no added SO2, and variously fermented/aged in stainless steel and demi-muids, these are precise wines of unparalleled freshness.