Dona Maria Petit Verdot 2016
Style/ Colour Red
Grape varieties 100% Petit Verdot
The producer Located in Estremoz, Quinta de Dona Maria (also known as Quinta do Carmo) is an arrestingly beautiful early 18th century estate, reputedly built by King João V for his mistress, Dona Maria. In the 19th century, the estate was acquired by the Reynolds family, the Alicante Bouschet pioneers who founded Herdade do Mouchão. Inheriting it from an aunt who married into the Reynolds family, Júlio Bastos re-established the family tradition of winemaking, making waves with a succession of Garrafeira releases from 1985, 1986, 1987. Having tasted the 1986 on my first visit in 2009, I can well understand why these red wines attracted the attention of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), who became partners in Júlio’s original Quinta do Carmo brand in 1992. Wanting to pursue his own vision, Júlio sold the Quinta do Carmo brand to Lafite, establishing the Dona Maria brand in 2003. Whilst he broke with the French, he did not break with French varieties. Júlio firmly believes Petit Verdot will be the Alicante Bouschet of the 21st century, which is saying something. His flagship wine – an Alicante Bouschet – was my top scorer (97 points) in an Alentejo Regional Profile, recently published by Decanter.
The vineyard/winemaking Located at 450m and planted in deep clay/limestone soils, Dona Maria’s dry-farmed vines produce concentrated wines, with balance and finesse. The Petit Verdot was planted in 2001. The grapes were hand harvested, foot-trodden and fermented in ancient marble lagares (pictured). The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for one year.
Tasting notes Rich, deep purple in hue with an intense nose and palate, awash with juicy blackcurrant, berry and dried vine fruits, with deep-seated bay leaf and black pepper spice. With velvety tannins, the oak (new) is beautifully integrated, buffing the fruit to a shine. Polished, intense, but deliciously accessible, with a gravelly, mineral finish.
Food Pairing Braised meats, steak pies, or Chanfana (Portuguese goat and red wine stew)
Serving recommendations Drink 2021-2024
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