100% Encruzado, 40 years old at 580 m. Hand-picked. 12 hours of skin contact on the harvest day. Followed by 24 to 36 hours of settling, fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless-steel vats at a controlled temperature for 3 weeks. Ageing is in 400-litre French used barrels for 12 months, in contact with the fine lees, but without bâtonnage.
Benchmark Encruzado: intense cedary-citrus aroma, pure and vibrant. On the palate, the oak and the lees have given the wine a creamy richness and added depth without weight. Fills the mouth and has impressive length. Embryonic at the moment and sure to gain in complexity with time in bottle. The finish is a little spicy and peppery but not at all oaky. (JH)
Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Tinto Cão, Alvarelhão and Rufete. For this wine 40% of the grapes were harvested from a 60-year-old field blend. Harvest is done in two different phases, 1–1.5 weeks apart. The vinification is in open stainless-steel lagares at a controlled temperature, and traditional treading. Ageing is in used French oak barrels for 30 months.
Deep garnet. Subtle hedgerow-berry fruits in the aroma, with both wildness and fruit sweetness. Smells tangy and more red-fruited than the straight Vigno 2016. There’s perhaps a hint of oak sweetness but no more than that. On the palate, this is nicely dry and fresh at the same time, a touch of vanilla but the sweetness is all about the fruit. Mouth-watering and moreish, with good concentration and length but no heaviness. An honest, satisfying wine and just ready for drinking now, ideally at the table, thanks to the smooth yet gently chewy tannins. (JH)