The Douro Superior feels a little bit like the end of the earth. It is warm and dry, seemingly isolated, and stunningly beautiful in its own way.
A few years ago, winemaker Mateus Nicolau de Almeida started a very special project with the introduction of the Trans Douro Express wines. He created three wines under the label, each from a different subregion of the Douro. The goal is to show the climatic differences of the three subregions, so each bottling is farmed and vinified in the same way. Mateus refers to his line as “climate” wines, and they are one of a kind.
The Nicolau de Almeida family is one of the most important in the world of Portuguese wine. Descendants of Adriano Ramos Pinto, the founder of the famed Port house that wore his name, João Nicolau de Almeida was the director of the company for over three decades. The family was influential in obtaining official recognition for the three major subregions of the Douro, and in helping elevate quality throughout the region. The family is known for its big personality, full of charisma and hospitality, and exuding a vibrant sense of energy and passion. The wines certainly convey this energy.
Douro Superior is the home base of the Trans Douro Express wines, and there is a special feeling to this wine. It is a field blend of local varieties grown in the steep, high elevation sites of the area. The wine is aged in concrete for several months before bottling to preserve the terroir of the Douro Superior. It explodes out of the glass with aromas of violets, raspberry pie, and white pepper. The mouthfeel is super silky up front, then firms up, finishing with bright acidity. It is rare to get as well balanced of a wine from the Douro Superior as this. One of the great red wine values in Portugal, it is one that you should not miss!
Mateus Nicolau de Almeida
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