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MOUCHAO – Tinto Alentejo DOC 2014

40,00  TVA incl.

Tasting notes:

Silky, rich garnet red. In the nose seductive scent of ripe dark berries, blackberry and blackcurrant, plum confit and ripe black olives, clearly ethereal notes, hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and liquorice. Very dense and supple on the palate, with lots of extract and melting, the tannin is firm and well integrated. A powerful yet elegant wine, with a long spicy-warm finish. Gripping, very deep and full of power!
 

Herdade do Mouchão, Casa Branca, Portugal

Originally based in England, John Reynolds moved to the port city of Porto in the early 19th century with the intention of entering Portuguese port wine production. Soon, however, the family moved on to the more southerly hills of the Alentejo region. Between Lisbon and the Algarve, where the cork oak forests and olive groves still dominate the landscape today, John Reynolds built up a successful business in the cork industry. Family ties to the Portuguese nobility solidified the roots in Portugal.

Over three generations, the family successively expanded its holdings. John Reynolds, a grandson of the founder, laid the essential foundation for today’s winery with the purchase of the 900-hectare Herdade do Mouchão and the Quinta do Carmo. With the support of two Bordelais viticultural experts, grape varieties were selected that would withstand the extreme growing conditions of the Alentejo region. These experts recommended in particular the Alicante Bouschet, a then still young and robust hybrid from France, which the breeder Henri Bouschet crossed in 1865 from Petit Bouschet and Grenache. Alicante Bouschet was first planted in Portugal at the Herdade do Mouchão. These vines soon gained an excellent reputation as they were excellently adapted to the hot summers, the clayey soil and the harsh winter rains. Besides the Alicante Bouschet, the red varieties Trincadeira, Aragonês, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Syrah grow on higher areas of the winery. The white varieties planted are mainly Antão Vaz, Arinto and Perrum. In addition to 38 hectares of vines, the estate today cultivates 50 hectares of olive trees (a large part of them over a hundred years old) and cork oaks.  
During the revolution of 1974, the owners were expropriated. It was not until 1985 that the Herdade was returned to the original owners. Today, Mouchão is once again run by the descendants of the founding family.

John Reynolds had an elegant, functional winery building built in the local architectural style with a 15-metre-high ceiling in the shade of huge eucalyptus trees. Even today, work is still carried out in the traditional manner. It was only in 1991 that the winery was connected to electricity. During fermentation, the red grapes are tamped with the feet twice a day in the nine stone lagares (open basins). The grape seeds thus remain unharmed and the tannin content of the wines moderate. After about a week, the young red wines are transferred to wooden barrels for further ageing. The white wines, on the other hand, are fermented entirely in stainless steel. As in the past, the workflow is calm and unhurried – in the ever-changing world of winemaking, Mouchão remains a traditional family-owned business.

In 1929, a distillery developed in Portugal was added to the winery. The estate’s product range includes its own extra virgin olive oil and also Mouchão’s honey, which is produced in the wilds of the Alto Alentejo.  
However, the flagship of the winery since 1954 has been the most important brand, “Mouchão”, to which Herdade owes its fame. It consists mainly of Alicante Bouschet with a small amount of Trincadeira. But the other wines of the house of Mouchão also enjoy an excellent reputation at international level.

 

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