Casal Figueira - António 2012

Casal Figueira – António 2012

The story of this small producer seems to have passed me by and I only discovered the wine of Casal Figueira last week. This is not something you will find in the supermarkets but only in specialised wine shops and a few restaurants but it is worth mentioning here for the singularity of the project and story behind it.
The wine is made and labelled in homage to the late winemaker António Carvalho, who died in 2009 of a sudden heart attack at the age of just 41 whilst treading his own grapes.
Portugal lost a much-loved winemaker who, back in 2004, was one the early proponents of biodynamic production with a passion for the Lisbon wine region, and it is his wife Marta who continues the project today.
There are only some 450 biodynamic wine producers worldwide, those who go a step beyond organic production by respecting the spiritual and ecological course of nature. Wine does not come any more natural than a certified biodynamic and whilst it can be argued that wines can be made just as well using modern techniques and chemicals, the fact is that most producers who go to all the effort of producing wine in this way are every bit as conscious about quality as they are of the environment.
I found this excellent medium bodied white made from the little known vital grape through Algarve distributor Wine Emotions at the Terroir wine bar/restaurant in Carvoeiro. The co-owner and sommelier João Marques is a champion of small off-the-radar producers.
Selling at around €15 (retail price) this is an unoaked wine of considerable complexity. Straw yellow in colour with great depth of flavour and mature white fruit notes on the nose, it lends itself to ageing and although the 2012 is already drinking very well another few years should reveal some pleasant surprises.
By PATRICK STUART [email protected]