Herdade do Mouchão Alentejo
Mouchão enjoys a good reputation amongst drinkers of bold, characterful reds. The estate is a massive 900 ha cork grove that includes 32 ha of vineyards. The vineyards have been re-established since 1986 when the land was returned to the family having lost control of their property during the revolution of 1974. Viticulture is modern with a double trellising system used to train the mostly Alicante Bouschet vines – there is also Trincadeira and small amounts of Aragonês and other varieties. The wines, made by Paolo Laureano, follow a traditional vinification with the grapes foot-trodden in lagares prior to ageing in (mostly) large oak and (20-25%) new French barriques. Mouchão, the main wine (70-80% Alicante, the balance mostly Trincadeira), is typically bold, savoury and expressive with a dense, chewy palate and plenty of extract. It also offers good value. Tonel 3-4, essentially a selection of the best cuvées, is more singular, intense and very sweet-fruited with a dense black plum and prune richness. It needs a decade before it opens out fully. Due in part to being based on Alicante, these wines are markedly different from the new wave of quality and they add something special to vista of the Alentejo wines. A second label, Dom Rafael includes a good value, flavoursome, quite traditionally styled red and a correct white. Ponte das Canas, first made in 2005, is a fruit-driven but polished blend of Portuguese and French grapes which gives Mouchão a foot in the modernist camp too.
To find out more about Herdade do Mouchão and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Portugal..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.