Moreish Moreto

I’m on a Grand Jury this week, which has a soap operatic ring to it.  In fact, I’m one of a panel awarding ‘Grand Golds’ at Wines of Portugal at the Concurso Vinhos de Portugal in Alentejo. Results to follow.  Meantime, this wine from the Cooperativa Agrícola de Granja-Amareleja gave me pause for thought about Moreto…. 

It’s a traditional grape, heavily associated with the Granja-Amareleja sub-region of Alentejo – one of Portugal’s hottest, driest wine regions.  I really enjoyed the heady, spicy, floral examples from Piteira which I tasted a couple of years ago on a talha (amphora) focused trip (written up here).

And was intrigued to discover that Herdade São Miguel used a dash of Moreto for freshness in their 2015 talha red  – another goody.  It’s good to see such contemporary producers doffing their caps to traditional grapes (and techniques) which have fallen foul of fashion. This red grape’s juiciness certainly shines through in the wines I’ve encountered.

Cooperativa Agrícola de Granja-Amareleja Moreto 2013 (Alentejo)

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the phrase “Pe Franco” on the label, which tells you that this wine comes from un-grafted vines.  It’s a deliciously heady yet balanced red with spicy, slightly medicinal (think cough sweets) layers to its hedonistic squelchy plums/plum skin, red cherry jam and blueberry fruit.  Going through, I loved its drip-feed of dried lavender, coltsfoot, red liquorice, clove, catering chocolate and honeyed fig.   Gifts to the palate as it unraveled in the glass.  Deep and lingering. Plenty of bang for your buck.  14%

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