Maçanita Sousao

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Antonio Maçanita is one of the most dynamic, brilliant young winemakers in Portugal, crafting wines everywhere from the Azores archipelago to Alentejo. It turns out he’s also a master at navigating sibling rivalry… or perhaps its his sister that is the diplomat? In the Douro, this brother and sister team has managed to pool their considerable winemaking talent to showcase the breadth of terroir in the oldest classified European appellation. Sourcing from sites spread across the 3 subzones of the Douro, the Maçanitas use classic Douro grape varieties with modern winemaking techniques to produce wines of balance, elegance and true Douro character. Somehow managing to combine Antonio’s wink-and-nod irreverence and Joana’s steadfast pursuit of preserving Portuguese winemaking traditions, this brother and sister team has captured the spirit of the Douro as only they are able.

Maçanita’s É Sousão ou Sera Vinhao is, as usually is the case with wines from these smart, irreverent siblings, a wine intended to provoke as many questions as it answers. Sousão in the Douro is genetically identical to Vinhao in the adjacent Vinho Verde region, but tends to make very different wine in the two appellations. This wine firmly straddles the two styles, and poses the question of is it Sousão or is it Vinhao? Red fleshed and very high acid, this grape is in and of itself a bit of a conundrum. Either way, these two have fashioned a gorgeous expression of this undersung variety.

2017 93WA; 2016 90WA

100% Sousão (Vinhao). Vines planted in 1992 to schist soils at an average altitude of 100m (330 ft).

The bright acidity, low alcohol and low tannin profile of this wine belie its deep opacity. The acidity in this wine is well suited for richer meat dishes like roast pork, braised chicken or stewed beef.

Hand harvested. All bunches are inspected for quality on a sorting table before they are gently crushed and racked by gravity into cement lagar, for fully ambient yeast fermentation. Following a maceration period of 25 days with light foot pigeage, the wine is racked by gravity into new French oak for 18 months.

250 cs (6pk)

Single vineyard tended in schist soil at 100m (330) elevation in Cima Corgo, Douro. This vineyard was planted in 1992. Average temperature during the growing season is 68 degrees F (20 C), with 400mm of rainfall per year. This is a subregion that experiences extreme highs and lows from a temperature standpoint, with some of the greatest day-night temperature delta in Portugal. As such the fruit experiences extended hangtime.

Opaque violet. On the nose, intriguing aromatic combination of red and black fruit, with purple flowers and schist minerality laid over the abundant fruit. On the palate, mouthwateringly bright acidity that is tempered and framed by the wood – there’s almost no overt indication that the wine has been aged in new oak. Juicy, mouthfilling, and lifted, with punchy black and red berry fruit laid over with peppery spicy notes. Finishes long, with a quality that quickly demands another taste.