Vale da Capucha Fossil Branco 2013

Great value from the Lisbon region

Next week I will be back to an Algarve wine but for now I’m returning to what is arguably the most exciting of the up-and-coming wine regions in Portugal at the moment. What I love about the Lisbon region is the originality of the wines being produced there.

Vale da Capucha is a small producer with a 15-hectare estate near Torres Vedras that really encapsulates the best of modern winemaking in Portugal, especially when it comes to whites.

Vale da Capucha’s location in a humid valley just 8km from the coast and their clay and limestone soil strewn with fossils (hence the name of this wine) provide for whites of great acidity and a trademark touch of saltiness.

The winery was certified organic in 2012 and goes a step further, using no artificial yeast or enzymes. The wines are fermented naturally on the lees with wild yeast resulting in a range of unfiltered whites, all without oak, that are invariably rich in texture and big on flavour.

This is their entry level white, priced at just €7 (Terroir and Earth in Carvoeiro, Baptista Supermarket in Praia da Luz) and a wine that hits far above its price tag.

Made from a blend of Arinto, Fernão Pires and Gouveio grapes, this 2013 vintage was only released onto the market in late 2015, after bottle ageing in the adega. It is interesting to note that all of the whites from this producer age for at least two years before leaving the winery.

It displays a pale straw yellow colour with tangy mineral notes of peach and lemon on the nose. In the mouth, there is good body and texture with a firm acidic finish.

By PATRICK STUART [email protected]