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FitaPreta is António Maçanita’s estate winery located outside the ancient Roman city of Evora, set among the sun-drenched hills of Alentejo. Founded in 2004 as a partnership between António and the British viticulturist David Booth, FitaPreta has since evolved into a benchmark estate for the New Portugal, frequently earning Antonio accolades like “Winemaker of the Year.”
António works only with indigenous varieties and ambient yeast ferments, crafting wines that are keenly representative of Alentejo, but with a balance and freshness that few others in the region have been able to match. Painstaking vineyard work, nighttime harvests and entirely gravity-fed winemaking are elements of António’s process that yield wines that are “full of sun,” as he says, but with lift and elegance instead of cloying power and over-extracted fruit. António operates on the Portuguese idea of “Palpite,” or intuition, to communicate terroir, with a foot firmly planted in both camps of tradition and modernity. He allows each parcel to ferment slowly and separately, combining the final blend to showcase a tapestry of the landscape of Southern Portugal. Each markedly different, but with a throughline of elegance and purity, the broad scope of the wines he creates at FitaPreta is a testament to his inquisitive intellect and fastidious attention to detail in his winemaking processes.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is an unadulterated, crystal clear expression of the Alentejo's terroir. Using indigenous varietals and minimal interventionist winemaking and viticulture, this wine shows remarkable purity. Hand-sorted to select the very best fruit in the harvest, Fitapreta Tinto is spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, then racked using gravity to stainless steel aging tanks.
2018 91JS, 90WE; 2017 89WS; 2015 90WA & IWR; 2013 88WA
40% Aragones, 30% Trincadeira, 30% Alicante Bouschet. Sustainably grown vines planted from 1979-1989. Tended in rocky schist at elevation soil at 300-400 m (984-1,312 ft) elevation
Grilled meats of all kinds are a lovely pair with the fresh, lush fruit profile. Lamb shoulder chops, dusted with smoked paprika and pepper before grilling, would be ideal.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Spontaneously fermented using indigenous yeasts in small barrels. Post-fermentation maceration for 15 days. 50% of the wine is then racked by gravity to 2nd and 3rd use French oak for 9 months.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The Alentejo is a large region in southeastern central Portugal, which is one of the agricultural centers of the country. The climate is Atlantic-Mediterranean, with significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature differences. This temperature range produces fruit with a natural combination of maturity and freshness. The Alentejo sees 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and 600mm of annual rainfall, less than 15% of which falls during the growing season. These vineyards are planted to rocky schist at 300-400m elevation asl.
Deep ruby-violet. Fresh and roasted red berry fruit on the nose, with lilting notes of toast and spicebox overlaid with fresh eucalyptus. On the palate, lush and ripe, with abundant fresh berries and cherry compote up front. The mid palate shows the minerality and a touch of smoke, with considerable length.