A funky claypot white from the Alentejo

A funky claypot white from the Alentejo

This recent arrival at Apolónia (€22.95) is certainly funky and I will go as far as to say challenging.

The wine is made by Gerações da Talha, a winery in Vila de Frades in the Alentejo that is totally dedicated to claypot wines.

There is little information on the label, but it is clearly an orange wine, i.e., a white wine fermented with the skins. There is no indication of the grapes used, but I would hazard a guess at traditional Alentejo white grapes like Antão Vaz and Roupeiro.

In the glass, the wine is the somewhat off-putting colour of an unhealthy urine sample and, when first opened well-chilled, the only aromas I could distinguish were earthy notes with a hint of wax.

This is a white wine that has the body and structure of a medium-bodied red, so upon realising this, I decanted it and left it for a while, aiming for a temperature of around 12°C.

Once allowed to breathe and now being only slightly chilled, the wine opened up to reveal a fruity nose of mature honey melon along with some citric and herbal notes. In the mouth, there is good acidity and structure and even a touch of tannin. This is an unusual wine that rewards being treated correctly and served with care.

By Patrick Stuart
patrick.stuart@open-media.net