2009 Monte Cascas "Ramisco" Colares
The 80-year-old vines are one km from the Atlantic coast at 111 m. Strong Atlantic influence, fresh and humid summers, morning fogs and salty winds. Sandy soils over brownish limestone. Partially destemmed. Ambient yeast. 22 days' post-ferment maceration. 18 months in French oak -- one of the three barrels was new. TA 6.8 g/l, pH 3.59, RS 2.4 g/l. Bottled November 2011. Burgundy bottle. The most beautiful colour - orangey ruby - ie the colour of a much older wine. And a wonderfully complex nose - dried roses spicy, oranges, red fruit (red cherry and cranberry), liquorice. Lithe and energetic with a fine freshness, light tannic grip and some oak still to the fore. This is such a special variety and place, in some ways it reminds me of old burgundy though the tannins have a more sinewy grip. Although the tannins are dry, they are also sweet. Wild and untamed and yet still fragrant. (In terms of ageing, the winemakers suggest a potential of 40 years ...) The worst thing about this wine is the heavy bottle. 17.5/20 points. Drink 2012-2025.
Colares is a tiny, incredibly unique, sandy, wind swept DOC west of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a strongly Atlantic influenced growing area, where red wines struggle to reach a mere 11.5% ABV! There are 20 growers here, only three of which bottle their own wine (we've carried two of them, Monte Cascas and the excellent local cooperative's Arenae bottling). For the uninitiated, think of Ramisco as a lighter, more tangy, lower in alcohol yet every bit as structured version of a Barolo. Savory dried red cherry fruit aromas lead to a beautiful, mouthwateringly high-in-acid palate, that is earthy and complex as well. Very cool stuff to enjoy now and stump your wine geek friends, or alternatively to stash away in the cellar for a long while. (Joe Manekin, Portuguese Wine Buyer)