Casa de Mouraz Elfa – An outstanding un-oaked organic Dão red

Any regular readers of my column could be forgiven for thinking that I am turning into some sort of eco-warrior wino. This is the third organic/bio wine that I have featured in the last couple of months, the previous one being just last week.

To get the record straight, I have not developed a particular passion for organic and/or biodynamic wines; what I do love is wine that is made as naturally as possible. I actually have no problem with growers using some chemicals in the field as long as they are not damaging nature and especially if it can help maintain the quality of the fruit. What I am opposed to is the excessive use of additives during the winemaking process and this is where the whole organic/bio movement can become a little opaque.

Anyway, that’s another story, and this week I am focusing on an excellent Dão red which, as far I am concerned, just happens to be organic and biodynamic.

Casa de Mouraz is a very well established and respected bio wine producer and this red is made from a small vineyard of mixed variety old vines. The field blend is made up of over 30 local grape varieties including Baga, Jaen and Alfrocheiro. Curiously, one of the most grown Dão grapes, Touriga Nacional, is almost non-existent in the mix.

Without any oak at all, this wine is fermented in stainless steel, then aged for two years in stainless steel. There is a real essence of fruit and a purity about this wine, with floral, dark cherry and violet notes on the nose. In the mouth, it is medium bodied, soft and rounded with silky tannins and great elegance.

Not cheap by any means, at around €26 for a bottle in shops, but this is a top quality Dão and the quality more than justifies the price-tag.

Available at Apolónia Supermarkets and also from bio shops in the Algarve such as Grãos de Amor in Lagos, Convent’Bio in Lagoa and Beterraba in Tavira.

By Patrick Stuart
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