The world’s only Fonte Cal? Quinta dos Termos Fonte Cal Reserva 2011
Serendipity (a term for fortuitous happenstance coined by Horace Walpole in 1754) is a lovely thing. It sounds good and, recently, I discovered it can even taste good!
This vinous example came my way via Wines of Portugal Wine Academy. Having tasted Beyra Quartz 2012, an excellent blend of Siria and Fonte Cal, my mustard keen audience wanted to know what Fonte Cal tastes like. And I had to admit that I’d never come across a single varietal example.
And here comes the serendipitous bit. Said audience included Carolyn Butler of The Exceptional Wine Company Ltd. The Portuguese wine (and handbag!?!) specialist duly despatched a bottle of Quinta dos Termos Fonte Cal Reserva 2011 my way.
Its makers, João and Lurdes Carvalho, believe that it is the world’s only 100% Fonte Cal. In fact this wine is scrambled together from sparse plots (just 200 vines) of this variety, a native of Beira Interior. These plots are located on the south ridge of the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain on mainland Portugal.
Quinta dos Termos Fonte Cal Reserva 2011 (Beira Interior)
This is a characterful, textured white with green almond and a rounder, incipient nuttiness (marzipan) which put me in mind of good Soave. Thanks to its ripe but present acid structure, its soft white stone fruits and ripe lemon notes gently persist on a smokily mineral finish. Lovely balance. 13% £95.94 for a 6 bottle case (can be mixed) at The Exceptional Wine Company.