Quinta do Mouro Vinha do Mouro is produced at one of the Alentejo’s leading wine estates. It is located just outside the walled town of Estremoz and Quinta do Mouro has been described as “The jewel of the Alentejo” by Wine Advocate.
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. Today, Miguel’s eldest son Luís, is the oenologist, and looks after all aspects of the viticulture and winemaking. Luís’ brother Miguel who has a recent degree in Agriculture has also joined the team. 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 Quinta do Mouro estate is based around a large house and the vineyards are largely planted around house; the original 6 hectares has now grown to 27 (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 native Portuguese oak, which is quite unusual.
Quinta do Mouro Vinha do Mouro is a blend of 30% Aragonês, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Trincadeira and 15% Alicante Bouschet. The vineyard soils are schist and clay, grapes are hand harvested and fermentation is in stainless steal tanks with temperature control. Whilst it is very much a wine of the Alentejo with an unmistakeable ‘roasted’ fruit character, this wine also has the freshness of the cooler (higher) lands of Estremoz, behind the Serra d’Ossa mountain.