Cabrita Native Grapes – Arinto

Another sign of the quality of Algarve wine

The Cabrita winery is located just behind Lagoa and investment over recent years has seen it change from a small and humble warehouse operation to an attractive adega that is well worth a visit. They have always had reliably good wines with the mainstream red, white and rosé alongside the red and white reserva. But it was only last year that they released two varietals under the new Native Grapes label, referring to indigenous Portuguese grapes.

One of these is made from Negra Mole, the local Algarve red grape, and is a light and fruity red, ideal to drink slightly chilled. The other varietal is a white made from the Arinto grape which is usually used in blends to add acidity along with other varieties. As a varietal, it is most famous in the sub-region of Bucelas where the wines are renowned for their ageing potential.

Here in the Algarve, Cabrita is one of the first producers to make an Arinto varietal and this 2015 vintage was only released last November after a year of bottle-ageing.

This is a very interesting wine, fermented on the lees with battonage, 75% in steel and 25% in new French oak.

On the nose, there are expressive white fruit and lemony notes, with no trace of the oak. In the mouth, the wine is full and flavoursome with good acidity and a bone-dry finish. I expect great things from this wine after a few more years of bottle ageing.

€13.99 at Intermarché.

[email protected]