Wine: A complex white from the heart of the Alentejo

Aldeia de Cima, located roughly halfway between Beja and Évora in the true heart of Alentejo wine land, is the brainchild of Luísa Amorim, the youngest daughter of Portugal’s late cork magnate Américo Amorim.

Along with her husband Francisco Rêgo, she set about creating a modern winery, holding fast to old Alentejo traditions on a 2400-hectare site owned by the family.

Luísa, who previously headed up Quinta Nova in the Douro, produced her first wines at Aldeia de Cima from the 2017 vintage. The focus is on high quality wines based on a minimal intervention philosophy and this white Reserva is one of their entry level wines costing €16.95, a blend of Antão Vaz (40%), Alvarinho (30%), Arinto (20%) and Roupeiro (10%).

The Antão Vaz grapes were aged in huge 3,000-litre oak vats whilst the Roupeiro grapes were aged in 500-litre oak barrels, and the remainder of the blend in cement vats.

This somewhat complex combination of ageing methods and the unusual blend of grapes results is a wine of great character. On the nose, there is a hint of oak, well integrated with notes of orange peel and peach. In the mouth, the wine is beautifully balanced with medium body and citric flavours mingling with a little pepper from the oak.

By Patrick Stuart

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