First and foremost, we believe that the Dão is a region of immense potential. Located south of the Douro, the Dão is truly a unique and diverse region. It is bordered on three sides by mountains: Serra da Estrella, Serra do Caramulo and Serra da Nave. This protection against cooling Atlantic wines, and warming northern winds, gives it a temperate climate. Couple that with elevation, granite soils, forests, and an extreme diurnal temperature shift. This creates captivating wines full of richness, freshness and balance. Darei’s namesake is of the town in which is it located in, and it’s become quite the family affair since José Ruivo founded the winery. José made winemaking a retirement project, although he joked to Craig that he’s never worked harder. Currently, Carlos, José’s son is at the helms. We have been supporting Darei’s wines for years since Craig discovered the wines several years back when traveling in Portugal, at an annual tasting in Porto. It was then that he met Carlos and José. We are fortunate that they decided to take up the project because the Dão region, and specifically the tiny village of Darei in the Mangualde district of the Dão is a special place for wine and deserves to be noticed. We hope it’s the beginning of the Dão gaining respectable traction! With a combination of purchased fruit and some estate fruit, they have always kept tradition in mind, which is why we love these benchmark examples of the Dão. The Tinto Reserva is a selection of the best estate grapes. It is a blend of local varieties Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen and Alfocheiro. Spontaneous co-fermentation occurs in traditional open tread granite tanks (lagares). Post-fermentation maceration follows, to optimize the color, flavor and tannin structure of the wine. Afterwards, the wine is aged in 5000-liter cement vats for 12 months. This is a medium-bodied red, encapsulated by fine grain tannins that insinuate the wine's elegance and essence of place. Spice but subtlety. The granitic soils provide a mineral underpinning as well. While this wine drinks exceptionally well now, Dão reds are amongst Portugal's greatest aging red wines. You can buy a case and keep it for a decade. This is great for any Northern Rhône Syrah fan to consider.
Casa de Darei
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