What am I: Terra de Tavares Tinto 2019
João Tavares da Pina is a bon-vivant, talented cook, and charming conversationalist who is also laser-focused on making pure expressions of his Dão terroir with land that has been in his family for generations. His farm is 40 hectares, with 13 planted with grapes. Dominant on the property are the native Jaen, Rufete and Touriga Nacional red grapes, and Encruzado, Siria, and Bical for white grapes. He is also bringing back to life several rare and forgotten local varieties in a young vineyard specially planted for this purpose.
In the vineyards, João practices strict organic viticulture and uses no products except for organic compounds. He is somewhat obsessed with the great variety of cover crops that he has on his vineyard – such as chamomile and lavender – that serve as natural fungal repellents and protectors of the vines. The vineyards are mostly granitic, with small parcels of clay, and very ancient marine sedimentary soils.
João has two primary brands that he sells wine under; Rufia, and Torres de Tavares. Rufia wines tend to be fresh and drinkable young, while Torre de Tavares are structured and textured wines. Terra de Tavares are long-aged wines made in a more traditional style.
The 2019 red wine is made from Touriga Nacional, Mencia and Rufete. The grapes were de-stemmed, and then spontaneous fermentation took place in a lagar for 8-10 days. Following fermentation, the wine was aged in chestnut casks for 9 months.