Rufia is João’s more “hands off” natural wine line, made with zero filtration and zero additives apart from a smidge of sulphur at bottling time. Wild herbs, heather and chamomile dominate the nose, which is pleasingly funky. There is a hint of saltiness & green olive. Even though there was no skin contact, this is
This is a fascinating project. Daniel Afonso has vineyards right next to the Colares area, but on clay soils rather than Colares’ hallowed sandy soils. However, his wines are made very much in the Colares style – light, briny and full of Atlantic freshness. This Arinto is quite seriously oxidative, and it’s a bit hard
Despite the low alcohol (presumably indicating quite early harvest), this traditionally made talha blend has more harmony than the Rocim Amphora Branco (Rocim is Pedro’s day job, where his wife makes the wines). Here there’s wispy apricot and white peach with a creamy, leesy hint on the finish. Nothing hugely complex here, and not much
Super fresh, youthful talha wine filled with expressive fresh and dried apricot, a bit of orange blossom and lime. Bottled straight from the talha after two months with the skins. Filtered through a layer of stems at the bottom, which seems to work admirably as the wine is perfectly clear. A fun and highly drinkable
Rocim makes some of the cleanest talha wines I’ve ever tasted, and this is no exception. The nose is attractive, with some earthy, dried herb notes, but dominated more by floral and citrus characteristics. Seriously bracing on the palate, with piercing acids, it does open out to reveal dried fruits and a silky, long finish.
I had to check the map, when Cores de Cima told me “this is an unusual Alentejo blend from vines planted in the sands of the Atlantic”. But indeed the far south-west corner of Alentejo does reach the coast, so I guess that’s where these grapes came from. Alvarinho dominates the blend (67%) and sure
MOB is the project of Jorge Moreira (Poeira), Francisco ‘Xito’ Olazabal (Quinta do Vale Meão) and Jorge Serôdio Borges (Wine & Soul). This white blend comes from a vineyard at 500 metres in the Serra da Estrela mountains. Heather and honeysuckle greet you on the nose, together with citrus oils and some subtle herbal notes.
A pale provencal style rosé, made from a noble, dark- fruited red grape. It sounds illogical, and it’s a bit disappointing to taste. There’s an odd lack of acidity, and the fruit tastes bland. Without freshness or fruit, this just doesn’t deliver what a rosé should – at least in my humble opinion.