El3mento Red, 2017
Style/ Colour Red
Grape Varieties Centenarian field blend
The producer El3mento is a partnership between Luís Pedro Cândido da Silva and Carmelo Peña Santana, who met in 2012, whilst studying for a Masters in Oenology in Tarragona. A third element – clay – defines their Iberian project, which also features a tinaja wine from Gran Canaria where Carmelo, a chemistry and maths teacher, has made waves with his Ikewen label. Similarly, Luís Pedro, is an artful juggler, making Niepoort’s table wines in addition to his own Primata label and, since 2015, overseeing viticulture and winemaking at his family’s Douro estate, Quinta do Carolina.
The vineyard/winemaking From a relatively exposed, north-facing, centenarian field blend parcel on predominantly schist soils, the vineyard is located at 600m on a plateau in Barcos, Tabuaço, in the Cima Corgo sub-region. The grapes were harvested on the 10th of September of 2017 and transferred directly to the 1,000l tinaja. With no additions, other than a little sulphur at the end of fermentation, it was gently foot-trodden, then whole bunch fermented without temperature control and macerated on skins for 4 months. After pressing, the wine was decanted into a stainless steel tank to stabilise naturally. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered on 25th of May 2019.
Tasting note Probably one of the Douro’s prettiest reds, this out-of-the-box wine actually comes from out of a clay jar, or tinaja, as they are known in Spain. It has pronounced floral perfume to its sappy red cherry fruit and lovely intensity, with not a jot of density. Lengthy skin contact imparts delicious lick and lift of spice. Long and fresh. Skilfully done, it is a fantastic debut from a dynamic duo. A single (1,000l) tinaja was made. 12% alcohol
Food pairing Roast lamb, suckling pig or traditional Portuguese duck rice "Arroz de pato'.
Serving recommendations Serve at cellar temperature between (16-18ºC).
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