The December meeting of the Algarve Wine Society took a step into the tiny Arruda dos Vinhos subregion, just north of Lisbon – although there is nothing tiny about the production of the evening’s featured winery, Quinta de São Sebastião.
Enjoying the spectacular view of Faro Marina from the lofty heights of the top-floor Harune restaurant at the Hotel Eva Senses, members were invited to kick off the evening with a choice of no less than four wines accompanied by some delightful canapés.
Sauvignon Blanc featured strongly in the two whites, signalling that these are wines produced with export in mind, using a mix of international and Portuguese varieties.
Underlining this approach, the Dona Aninhas Reserva Rosé proved to be a fresh, aromatic blend of Touriga Nacional, Merlot and Castelão.
The name Quinta de São Sebastião reflects the history of the manor house as a pilgrimage site dating from the 18th century. The winery is situated in 35 acres of rolling landscape close to the sea and started production in 2007.
Winemaker Filipe Sevinate Pinto creates low-intervention and environmentally sustainable wines that have won many prizes including three gold medals at the prestigious Challenge International du Vin 2022.
Moving to the table, a well-seasoned tuna tataki over caramelized vegetables was accompanied by Quinta de São Sebastião Reserva Branco, followed by roasted Iberian pork neck with truffle mashed potatoes served with two red wines, the São Sebastião Reserva and the higher range Quinta de São Sebastião Reserva, the former a smooth easy-drinking wine and the latter a more complex blend of Syrah, Merlot and Touriga Nacional.
The dessert of a luscious chocolate trilogy with red fruits accompanied by tawny port capped a well-appreciated menu. The Eva Senses hotel is in the same group as the winery and together they proved a winning combination.
The Algarve Wine Society next meets for tastings with tapas at Rolha Wine Bar in Porches on January 20 and 21, 2023.
Quinta de São Sebastião – https://quintassebastiao.com
Algarve Wine Society – www.algarvewinesociety.com
By ALISON WEST