Horácio Simões Moscatel de Setúbal 2017
Style/ Colour White/ Fortified
Grape varieties 100% Moscatel de Setúbal
The producer Bar Douro Wine Club members who received the inaugural box will have tasted Casa Agrícola Horácio Simões’ rare dry Boal do Barreiro. However, the third-generation family-owned producer is best known for its stunning range of fortified Moscatel de Setúbal, which includes vintage, 10-year-old, non-vintage and single cask examples made from Muscat of Alexandria, as well as Moscatel Roxo from a rare pink-tinted Muscat strain. Gold in colour and gold medal-winning, my judging panel’s Moscatel de Setúbal flights at Decanter World Wine Awards are always a highlight of the week.
The vineyard/winemaking The grapes come from five acres planted on clay-limestone soils. The grapes were briefly fermented on skins in cement vats without temperature control, then fortified with brandy to halt the ferment at the desired sweetness level. After macerating on skins for five to six months, the wine was pressed, then aged for around two years in a combination of stainless steel and wooden casks.
Tasting notes Antique gold, with an intensely perfumed nose of rose water, lychee and Seville orange marmalade. In the mouth, the palate is silky smooth, with shredless orange marmalade, barley sugar, booze-soaked, succulent white currants and a hint of Nuttall’s butter mintoes (toffee and mint for the uninitiated!) Opening up, sweet mandarin, baking spices and nutty almond notes emerge. Dangerously moreish and, with exemplary balance, it is not in the least mawkish. Luís Camacho Simões, the winemaker, reckons it will improve for many years. But can you resist it?
Food Pairing Pastel de nata, Pudim De Laranja (orange caramel custard) or Toucinho Do Céu (rich egg yolk almond cake with orange creme fraiche).
Serving recommendations Best served lightly chilled 14 -16°C
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