What am I: What started as a thesis project for three friends attending enology school together has become one of the most exciting natural wine projects in Portugal. Vinhos Aparte brings a punk-rock/graffiti artist aesthetic to their winemaking, and it shows in their whimsical, fresh, fruity, and oh-so-funky wines. They may be grape-mad explorers in wine-based fun and craziness, but they are dead serious when it comes to making extraordinary wine.
Mike Tazem was the Aparte team’s first release of a red wine, and what a “knockout”! Mike Tazem, obviously from the front and back labels, is a cheeky play on the Mike Tyson name, is called so because the fruit, Tinta Pinheira (aka Rufete) comes from the area of Tazem in Dão.
The wine can be described as a medium-bodied red. Elegant, fresh, refined, and precise – not heavy, extracted, or overly concentrated. A great summer/warm weather red, the wine is spicy, with notes of violets, and even a hint of citrus fruits. The wine is fermented spontaneously in small vats, aged in used barrels, and there is zero sulfur added to this wine.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Lisboa
Grape Varieties: Tinta Pinheira
Alcohol by volume: 11.5%