Malhadinha Nova Alentejo
Here is yet more evidence of the continued quality advance in the Alentejo. As the Soares brothers set about restoring a 200 ha estate located in the sparsely populated south of the region in the late 90s, they sought consultancy from the respected oenologist Luis Duarte (also QUINTA DO MOURO) for 20 ha of vineyard. Only in production since 2003, the Soares brothers have achieved meteoric success with their ambition and attention to detail. Though the vines are youthful, free-draining schist soils account for a well-structured estate red (made from Alicante, Aragones and Tinta Miuda with a dash of Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon), which shows terrific concentration, combined with balancing freshness. In 2006, the Soares produced a new top tier wine, the muscular Marias de Malhadinha, as with the estate red, it is deeply concentrated with a mineral undertow. Time will tell if it warrants the price tag. The composition of the flagship white is still evolving. It is a blend of Arinto, Viognier and Chardonnay. Early versions have been impressive if perhaps a little too oaky and generous. Aside from these top wines, the small but perfectly formed gravity fed winery produces a surprisingly wide range. The Peceguina wines are the most affordable with a sound rosé and white and well-made ripe but juicy red from Aragonês, Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Alicante. The estate white is barrel-fermented and aged Antão Vaz that is flavoursome and oak-infused but not heavy. Pequeno João is another premium red but with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah complementing Aragonês. It manages to retain something of a Portuguese twist despite an assertive black fruit component from the imported varieties.
To find out more about Malhadinha Nova 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.