What am I: Winemaker Luis Sousa is the guardian of some of the most important vinous heritage in Portugal, but you would never know that due to his humble and quiet demeanor. To this day, his main job is driving trains for the Portuguese train service, and making wine is mainly a side-job for him. These wines are strictly non-commercial. Formerly, they were only made for family and for local people in and around the village of Favacal, near the city of Ourém, Lisbon province.
With winemaking in his blood and a couple of hectares of Fernão Pires grapes with over 120 years of age that are still producing excellent, flavor-packed fruit, Luis makes this white wine in the old way. Grapes are spontaneously fermented on skins (curtimenta) with native yeast, in lagar (open tanks), and then transferred to stainless steel tank for 4-6 months. During this process, the wine takes on a beautiful golden color and develops intense and exotic flavors as a result of the extended skin contact.
Carlos Sousa Branco Curtimenta is 100% Fernão Pires made with a mix of fruit sourced from newer and older plots. It is a wine with an exotic, transporting aroma full of spice, mango, ultra-ripe peach, and even a hint of musk or melon. The palate is rich, as old vine Fernão Pires often is, but has floral and rich pear-like flavors, balancing acidity, and just a hint of palate-cleansing bitterness on the finish. The wine straddles the line between white wine and orange wine and appeals to lovers of both. It is a tremendous value from the Ourém sub-region at the northern edge of the Lisbon province.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Lisboa
Grape Varieties: Fernão Pires
Alcohol by volume: 14.5%