When Vasco Croft of Aphros recommended António to us, he described him as “a young brilliant producer who is making a unique job with reaching old vines and terroirs, using organic farming and biodynamics.” He further stated that he thought these the best wines in the Dão today, and certainly the most mineral. We, having had the happy experience of working with Alvaro Castro for several years, thought that this might be a stretch, but were encouraged to learn that António had made his first wines with Alvaro. After a long and intense video call and a giddy tasting of a range of his wines in Germany, all doubt was dispelled and we could hardly believe our good fortune at having secured the rights to yet another Portuguese star of the highest order. Despite his exemplary Portuguese name, António is actually a Frenchman, brought up in Paris. He had a successful career as an engineer until the wine siren came calling and he was moved to return to his ancestral home in the Serra da Estrela, the high country which yields most of the Dão’s greatest wines – and Portugal’s best cheeses. He set out to find unknown or abandoned vineyards planted to old vines and made his first wine in 2011. Since then, he has expanded his sources to about 25 plots planted in eight hectares, all cultivated organically. He typically works with field blends, but has an understandable regard for Encruzado, which he is systematically replacing for Tinto Roriz. António is not the first grower we know who claims to be inspired by Burgundy (Fílipa Páto is another), but he is one of the few whose wines bear out the ambitious homage.
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