Azores Wine Company Vulcanico, 2018
Style/ Colour Red
Grape varieties Aragonês, Agronómica, Castelão, Malvarisco, Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Saborinho and Syrah
The producer Consulting on The World Atlas of Wine back in 2011, I tasted a dozen samples from the Azores. Apart from the archipelago’s traditional licoroso (late harvest or fortified) wines, they were humdrum. Little did I know that a revolution was afoot. It was spearheaded by António Maçanita, an innovative winemaker from Alentejo (Fita Preta). Visiting family on the archipelago, he had discovered a project to recover local grapes. In 2010, Macanita produced a single varietal Terrantez do Pico. It put the islands on the map for light wines, ushering in a major programme of vineyard recovery, especially on Pico island.
The vineyard/ winemaking This unoaked ‘kitchen sink’ blend features noble Portuguese and French grapes, including Aragonês, Agronómica, Castelão, Malvarisco, Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Saborinho and Syrah. I say noble because, in the wake of phylloxera, more productive American vines and varieties were planted, such as Isabella – the stock in trade of altar wines. Noble Portuguese (and French) red grapes were only introduced relatively recently. The vines were hand harvested and, following bunch selection on a sorting table, gently transferred to small 600l to 1000l stainless steel tanks by gravity. After settling, the juice was fermented in tank, where it stayed until bottling in 2019.
Tasting notes Crimson with a bright pink rim. Aromatic, the nose reveals capsicum, dried herbs and spicier pink peppercorn and pimento, which follow through on the medium-bodied palate. Soft, succulent black cherry and blood plum and crunchy red cherry is cut with signature Azores’ lively, salty, mineral acidity. A taste of the ocean. A taste of volcano! This piquant, salty, fresh red is raring to tickle your taste buds. 16,488 bottles produced.
Food Pairing Game terrine, Pork vindaloo, Quail Cebolada
Serving recommendations Serve at a temperature of 16 to 18ºC. Drink 2021-2023
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