Vale da Capucha Arinto

The Marques family and their estate, Vale do Capucha, represent the viticultural renaissance that the Lisboa DO has experienced over the last decade and a half. Having grown fruit for bulk wine production for 4 generations, they came to the realization 10 years ago that their heritage and terroir was something worth expressing. Now, they are at the tip of the spear for conversion to organic and biodynamic agriculture. While their adjacent neighbors routinely turn out yields in excess of 25 tons/hA, Vale do Capucha has trimmed theirs to under 6. Young winemaker Pedro Marques has taken the reins of the estate from his family, replanted it entirely with indigenous varieties, and has set about expressing a singular message of terroir. He is careful to say that he is first and foremost a viticulturist, and only secondarily a winemaker – he truly follows the ethos that “great wine is made in the vineyard.” Only 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Lisbon, Vale do Capucha is a property whose wines speak to the presence and proximity of the ocean. The Capucha refers to the ancient Roman military road that led from Lisbon to Santarai, and both fossilized seashells and ancient Roman artifacts are consistently unearthed on the property, situated on a 400-million-year-old thread of Kimmeridgian limestone. With minimal interventionist winemaking, Marques manages to clearly express the minerality and salinity of these ocean-inflected vineyards.

What makes this wine unique?

A mono-varietal bottling of Arinto, the quintessential Atlantic Portuguese variety. In this wine, the influence of the ocean as well as the salinity and minerality of the soil are the clear focus. As with most Arinto, this wine is extremely age-worthy, owing to the intrinsic acidity and minerality that this variety has.

Rating history

Not rated yet

Grape

100% Arinto. Organically grown (certified) vines planted in 1996 in kimmeridgian limestone soil at 10 m (32.80 ft) elevation less than 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean

Pairing Suggestions

Pair with raw seafood preparations from bivalves to fish crudos. Has the concentration and acidity to stand up to richer foods as well, such as roast pig.

Vinification and ageing

Inoculated fermentation with native yeast strains in stainless steel, cold stabilization. Aged on the lees for 9 months in stainless steel. Unfiltered and unfined.

Production

770 cs

Location, Soil, Climate

Vineyards located 20km outside of Lisbon, about 8km from the Atlantic Ocean. Situated at roughly sea level, with the highest elevation plantings at merely 100m elevation. Soil is Kimmeridgian limestone mixed with clay. Organic viticulture (certified 2015). Atlantic climate.

Tasting notes

Pair with raw seafood preparations from bivalves to fish crudos. Has the concentration and acidity to stand up to richer foods as well, such as roast pig.

Alcohol Content

12.5%

UPC Code

5600208879245