This producer in the Beira Interior region keeps on impressing. This is the third wine I have featured from the same producer in less than six months, not something I would usually do. But it seems that whatever I try from Quinta do Cardo stands out as being both original and very good.
First of all, a little background if you missed my other two reports. Quinta do Cardo is an organic producer with high altitude vineyards (at least 700 metres) located close to the Spanish border to the north of the Serra da Estrela mountains.
Back in October, I featured their excellent oaked white Vinha Lomedo and, more recently, the unusual rosé Reserva Caladoc, actually more of a blanc de noir, made from the Caladoc grape (a hybrid of Malbec and Grenache). And now this new arrival at Apolónia caught my attention.
This is quite a unique take on the Tinta Roriz grape, aka Aragonez in the Alentejo and Tempranillo over in Spain. This is a wine of great concentration with a deep ruby colour, almost opaque and clinging to the side of the glass.
It was aged for 22 months in oak and another year in the bottle before release, hence only hitting the shelves now. On the nose, the oak is well balanced with unexpected notes of pine sap and balsamic mingling with rich forest fruits – great freshness in the mouth, silky tannins and a long elegant finish.
I found it to be a near perfect match for roast lamb – not cheap at €18.95, but worth every cent.