The Lagoa Wine Cooperative, now Única – Adega Cooperativa do Algarve, was once the biggest name in winemaking in the region. Today it still operates from the original old Adega Cooperativa building that dominates the main roundabout in Lagoa, sharing the space with the Lady in Red art gallery.
How long either business will stay in the building will be governed by how long it takes the current owners to find a buyer, who will most likely demolish this local icon and give us another charming block of apartments or maybe a shopping centre. But for now, the crumbling old edifice stands proud, and down in the cellars much has been done over recent years to improve the quality of the wines produced here.
As a local resident of many years, I decided to visit the adega last week and buy a selection of their wines to open and taste with a group of friends.
Of the six bottles shown here, the clear favourite was the white Reserva, a wine made from the local Crato Branco grape, fermented and aged in oak. But the oak is well integrated, giving a touch of complexity to the nose and a rounded texture in the mouth; a very pleasant and easy-drinking white, which more than justifies the price tag of just €5.70.
As for the reds, the pick of the three was the Reserva blend 2018 priced at €7, a well-balanced wine with nicely integrated oak and dark fruit flavours.
As a fan of the Negra Mole grape, I was a little disappointed by the Signature label, although, that said, all of the other wines on the market from the Negra Mole variety are considerably more expensive than the €6.50 charged for this one.
As for the Premium 2017, priced the same as the Reserva at €7, this is a wine of far greater weight and concentration with a very heavy oak presence, both on the nose and in the mouth. This could be a very decent wine in the making, but it needs a good few more years in the bottle.
Finally, of the Porches label wines in white and rosé, priced at €5.50 and €3.80 respectively, the cheaper rosé was the clear favourite, full of flavour in the old school rosé style but with a nice dry finish; a very drinkable low-budget BBQ wine.
The white, made from the Viognier grape, has a creamy texture, pleasant enough but no match to the aforementioned white reserva.
All in all, if, like me, you have given the wines of Lagoa a wide berth based on the quality of wines that used to be produced there, it’s time to take a fresh look. The adega shop is open for tastings and, if visiting during the afternoon, the art gallery makes for an excellent diversion.