Palhete – a regional wine produced by Morgado do Quintão, in the Algarve wine region of Portugal.
The count of Silves fell in love with the sea and the vineyards of the Algarve, and at the end of the 19th-century, he planted his first vines at Morgado do Quintão. And now, let’s celebrate his legacy with a real Algarve wine which is named ‘Palhete’.
As the producer says:
“inspired by how wines used to be made in the Algarve, mixing white and red grapes from local grape varieties, we created a wine that is unique and faithfully honors the winemaking tradition of this region”.
Owned by Filipe Vasconcellos, Morgado do Quintão is a historic estate with thousand-year-old trees in DOC Lagoa of Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. The property encompasses 60 hectares of vineyards which have been in his family for generations. Recognizing the potential of these old vines, Filipe recruited winemaker Joana Maçanita who has extensive knowledge of Portugal’s terroir and the same mission as Filipe: to show the potential of indigenous grape varieties Crato Branco and Tinto Negra Mole.
The wine’s name refers to Palhete’s definition, which is a wine style that is invented in Portugal: the Palhete wines.
According to the applicable legislation in Ordinance 26/2017, of January 13, 2017, of the European Commission, the Palhete is “intended mention for red wine, obtained from the partial tanning of red grapes or from the joint tanning of red and white grapes, white grapes not being allowed to exceed 15% of the total”.
But there are regional exceptions, and this wine is a perfect example of that.
And this wine was made from Negra Mole (30%) and Crato Branco (70%) grape varieties, which have been planted about 40 years ago at the estate, on iron-rich sandy loess soil mixed with limestone. (In other regions of Portugal, the Crato Branco grape is called Roupeiro or Síria.)
Vintage: 2019. The grapes were harvested by hand, the whole bunch pressed, red and white grapes vinified together in a tank. Fermented at 13°C for 22 days.
The wine presents a beautiful medium salmon color with coral-tinged.
Enticing notes of fresh picked strawberry and white peach on the nose.
On the palate, it is a very fresh, elegant wine with aromas of fresh fruits.
A full-bodied, dry, complex, well-structured drink unlike a rosé, with hints of tannins somewhere in the background, and nice acidity. A lovely, well-balanced, crispy wine with a medium-short finish.
Serve this wine between 10-12 °C of temperature.
Best pairing with grilled and fried fish (sardines or salmon), seafood, or the local Bacalhau a Brás (codfish with egg scramble), but goes well also with chicken meat and pork dishes, or even with sushi.
Or, just enjoy this wine on its own, as I did! This wine is not for further aging, so do not waste your time, taste it now!