Organic Dão with pedigree

With most of our favourite restaurants shut this week and, by the time this newspaper comes out on Thursday maybe all of them, my suggestion is to treat yourself to a nicer wine than perhaps you would usually drink at home.

In addition to my wine column this week, I have also included my own recipe (click here) for a black pepper sauce to go with a nice steak which, according to the producer, is the ideal pairing for this wine.

Julia de Melo Kemper is a Lisbon lawyer who juggles law with winemaking at her Quinta do Cruzeiro farm in the Dão region, which has been in her family for over 400 years. In 2003, she set about launching an organic wine project at the farm and over the years has gained a reputation as one of the top producers in the region.

This Reserva is one of the main labels and the 2010 vintage is currently available at Apolónia supermarkets (€22.95). The wine is made from the four most emblematic Dão varieties – Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional. This is a full-bodied wine of great concentration, softened by the years of bottle-ageing. On the nose, there are ripe red fruit notes with hints of chocolate, long and structured in the mouth with evident and well-rounded tannins.

patrick.stuart@open-media.net