Quinta do Mouro Vinha do Mouro (2010)

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Product information: Quinta do Mouro is one of the Alentejo’s leading estates. Miguel Louro, buccaneering dentist, bought the old Zagalos estate in 1979, and eventually decided on planting mainly Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Vabernet Sauvignon. The first wine emerged in 1994, with the first wine made on site, in the old renovated winery, in 1998. There is a history of winemaking here, revived by Miguel, on schist-dominated soil, despite the predominace of marble and clay in the area. Things are done in a fairly traditional way at Mouro, unlike a lot of Alentejo producers, who seem to copy their New World cousins. There is no irrigation at Mouro, which is very unusual seing that the Alentejo is such a baking hot area. The estate is based around a large house and the vineyards are largely planted around house; the original 6 hectares has now grown to 22 (including some vines around Estremoz).  All the grapes are hand-harvested and are crushed by foot before they go into the winery. The wines are aged in a mixture of French and Portuguese oak. Vinha do Mouro is a blend of 30% Aragonęs, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45%Trincadeira e 15% Alicante Bouschet. Whilst it is completely a wine of the Alentejo, with that unmistakeable 'roasted' fruit character, this wine also has the freshness of the cooler (higher) lands of Estremoz, behind the Serra d'Ossa mountain.