An unusual and interesting organic claypot white

An unusual and interesting organic claypot white wine

The claypot trend continues to grow in Portugal and around the winemaking world and I for one am a fan.

I love the way that claypot fermentation and ageing seems to offer even more than wood barrels in the way of micro-oxygenisation, often making young wines more approachable without the use of additives.

This wine however, from Lisbon region producer Quinta do Montalto, has taken the process back to how claypot wines used to be made before hypoxia resins were invented as used today by many producers to line the inside of the pots.

This wine uses natural pine resin, think Greek retsina, however in a far less intrusive way, inferring an almost undetectable hint of pine essence to a wine that is full of flavour and structure having fermented and aged with the skins and lees much like an orange wine.

In the glass it is a pale golden-yellow with white fruit notes predominating on the nose and a soft tannic structure in the mouth.

Excellent value for money at €12.50 from the Covent Bio farm shop in Lagoa, and interestingly I saw it on sale at a wine shop in the UK a few weeks ago for over £18 (Cellar Door Wines in St. Albans). This 2019 vintage was awarded a gold medal in the International Wine Awards of Spain in 2020.

By Patrick Stuart