As most of you know, Craig is a huge advocate for the wines of Portugal. Over his many years of traveling to Portugal, he is fortunate to have been introduced to many of the best artisan producers of the country. One of his favorite wineries in the Lisboa region is Vale da Capucha. It’s been tough to get these wines over the years because of importing issues,but the good news is that Capucha is back and we can keep drinking its delicious organic wines.
Pedro Marques is a fifth-generation winemaker who took over his family's estate about 20 years ago. Just north of Lisbon, in the town of Torres Vedras, and only nine kilometers from the sea, Capucha's estate spans 13 hectares and has a very unique location. The winery sits on a limestone fault, primarily of the Kimmeridgian era. With an abundance of oceanic fossils and high amounts of calcium, the soil is nearly identical to that of regions such as Chablis and Muscadet. Those of you who prize wines from those regions for their energy and minerality will find much to enjoy in Vale da Capucha’s “Fossil” as well. Pedro works exclusively with local varieties, primarily white selections like Fernão Pires, Arinto, Gouveio, and Alvarinho, but also reds such as Castelão and Touriga Nacional. Originally there were varieties such as Syrah and Viognier, but those were regrafted to local vines. In 2015 Pedro also began the task of converting the estate to organic methods, eventually earning certification—not an easy feat given the temperate Atlantic climate found here, which creates challenging growing conditions.
“Fossil” Branco is a blend of 50% Fernão Pires, 35% Arinto, and 15% Castas Regionais. The wine was fermented naturally in stainless steel vessels, then aged for 20 months on the lees in stainless steel and various-sized barrels. The wine is fresh, with juicy citrus notes of ripe lemons and clementine along with fresh herbs and citrus blossom. But the wine’s signature is found in the strong mineral backbone that comes from Vale da Capucha’s unmistakable terroir.
Vale da Capucha
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