What am I: Antonio Madeira, Portuguese raised in France, and trained as an engineer, decided to return to his ancestral home in the Dão region at the foot of the Serra da Estrela. In this place, he set about identifying the tiny forgotten vineyards that he felt could be considered the Grand Cru vineyards of Dão. Working closely with the owners of these vineyards, developing trust, and showing them his vision of working with small vineyard holdings to show their potential while protecting them from being ripped out in the name of progress, he was able to slowly build up a group of over 15 small vineyards and 30+ individual plots that he could work. These vineyards were the backbone of his project, and although Antonio now owns some of his own vineyards, his wines display a purity and elegance that prove the value in his original vision.
Antonio works these vineyards without any chemical intervention and using mostly biodynamic principles, and practices extremely low-intervention/hands-off winemaking to showcase the granitic terroir of his native area. He uses no winemaking additives other than a small amount of sulfur in bottling.
This wine comes from vineyard parcels whose average age is over 80-years old. The main difference between this wine and the colheita branco is that 15% of this wine spends time in French oak cask giving the wine more texture, more complexity, and more flesh to complement the inherent and precise mineral backbone of the wine. It is a phenomenal pair with oysters or any and all other briny seafood.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Dão – Serra da Estrela
Grape Varieties: Siria, Fernão Pires, Bical, Arinto, Cerceal, and several others
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%