Winemaker Susana Esteban

Sem Vergonha

Shamelessly enjoyable for Burgundy lovers

Whatever has Portalegre in the northern Alentejo hills of São Mamede got to do with Burgundy? Well, nothing at all really other than the fact that this is a region that produces excellent wines, but winemaker Susana Esteban was possessed with the idea that Portugal’s indigenous Castelão grape, given the right treatment, could produce a wine in a similar style to red Burgundy.

Enter Dirk Niepoort, the winemaker considered by many to be the greatest ambassador of Portuguese wine and a man with a deep passion for Burgundy.

Niepoort has cooperated with Esteban on other projects at her Portalegre winery and the challenge was accepted to produce Sem Vergonha (shameless), referring possibly to the shameless imitation of red Burgundy.

The first vintage was produced in 2017 and released last year, fermented in steel with low extraction and aged for 12 months in used French oak barrels.

This is a wine of great elegance with red fruit dominated by cherry notes, reminding us of Pinot Noir on the nose, medium bodied with silky smooth tannins from perfectly integrated oak. Worth every cent of the price at €23.95 (Apolónia).

patrick.stuart@open-media.net