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, Luis makes his wines in the old way. Grapes are spontaneously fermented on skins with native yeast, in lagar (open tanks), and then transferred to stainless steel tank for 4-6 months. During this process, the wines take on a beautiful color and develop intense and exotic flavors as a result of the skin contact.
By law, Medieval style wine consists of 80% Fernão Pires and 20% Trincadeira. This legally protected DOC has been made in exactly this fashion for over 800 years in this same region. The white juice and the red grapes begin their fermentation separately but are then combined for the last stages of the fermentation so that the Trincadeira skins give the wine a beautiful ruby red color and intense aromatics.
Normally drunk young, and expected to have fairly high alcohol, this is autumn in a glass, and the Carlos Sousa Medieval is one of the freshest and most intense we have tried.
Two barrels produced.
Region, Sub-region and/or DOC: Lisboa
Grape Varieties: 80% Fernão Pires and 20% Trincadeira
Alcohol by volume: 15%