In the northernmost reaches of the upper Douro Superior, the Menéres family founded the town of Jerusalém do Romeu and has been farming since the 1800s, making not only wine but cork and olive oil. It is a transitional zone into the neighboring northern region of Trás-os-Montes. While Douro Superior is known to be very warm with little rain, Romeu’s location within it is different. Here, the nighttime temperatures are cooler, with dry conditions and high elevation. This is expressed in the wines through freshness and relatively lower alcohol levels.
Romeu’s vineyards are in fact in a natural amphitheater. Looking out at the valley, one views the two rivers flowing through, the vineyards that sit next to olive trees, forest, rocky outcroppings—a diverse ecosystem. The Menéres is dedicated to organic viticulture, with its vines as well as its olive trees. The estate is certified organic, which is no small feat given not only the administrative hoops one has to go through but also the laborious work on such steep and rocky terrain.
“Moinho do Gato” is made by co-fermenting traditional Douro grapes varieties, mainly Tinta Barroca but also Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional. The grapes are fully destemmed before fermenting in traditional lagares, and the wine is aged in cement tanks. This is a wine that is always super fresh and juicy, with boysenberry, fresh blue fruit, and red plum. With relatively moderate tannins and a bright acidity, it is refreshing and very easy to drink, which makes it an utterly satisfying summer red.
Quinta do Romeu
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