An organic and original rosé from the Algarve

Since French-Portuguese winemaker Guillaume Leroux started making wine here in the Algarve in 2004, he was always set on producing wines with their own distinct style and character.

Guillaume is a French-trained oenologist who cut his teeth working with some of the great wine and Port houses in the Douro before moving down to the Algarve and planting vines at Quinta da Casteleja, a family-owned farm near Lagos in 2000.

From the outset, the vineyard and the winery were planned to be organic and he has been one of the pioneers of bio-dynamic wine production in the Algarve, the first to be officially certified in 2011.

I have always been particularly fond of his rosés and this 2017, which is currently on the market, is the most impressive yet. This, however, is not a rosé to everyone’s taste.

The colour is more a pale red than a dark rosé, bucking the trend of the commercially popular salmon pink rosés we see on the supermarket shelves today.

This is very much a gastronomic wine made exclusively from the Bastardo grape. On the nose, there are ripe red berry fruits, dry and medium bodied in the mouth, with a subtle tannic structure and a fresh, fruity finish.

Food-wise, this is a great wine to serve well chilled with BBQ meats on a hot summer day and an ideal partner for spicy Indian food; and, as I discovered last weekend, a perfect match for a richly-flavoured Paella. Look out for it at Intermarché supermarkets or at shops specialising in organic and bio products (or why not, make a visit to the winery?).

The price is around €9 – not cheap for a Portuguese rosé but well worth the money.

By Patrick Stuart
[email protected]