Automatic simplicity

Dão winemaker Carlos Lucas makes some very interesting wines, mostly under the Ribeiro Santo label. One of his most unusual is called ET, with an image on the label depicting the hands of the friendly alien, in that case an “alien” wine that marries the Dão region’s main white grape Encruzado with the red Touriga Nacional to produce a light-bodied red. Automático is another of his funky labels, so named, I can only imagine, due to the fact that it is made with minimal interventions, hence automatically resulting in the contents of the bottle.

I picked up this bottle of 2015 at Auchan supermarket priced at €8.99 representing excellent value for money. The wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz with the local Dão red variety Alfrocheiro. The grapes are picked manually and left to ferment naturally without added yeast before ageing in small tanks.

Being un-oaked and quite a full-bodied wine, it needs a few years in the bottle, but this 2015 is already drinking very well; deep ruby red with rich dark berry notes on the nose, firm but supple tannins and a smooth finish.

This is a very versatile food wine, fresh and fruity enough to enjoy with a nice roasted fish dish but with enough depth and body to pair very well with a juicy steak.

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