Vinho de Talha – Amphora wine! Have you ever tasted a wine that was fermented in clay pots (amphoras)? Whether yes or not, let me show you a good example of those wines!
The wine was created from unique vines, Moreto, Trincadeira, Aragonez and Alicante Bouschet grape varieties with little intervention. Mechanical treading, alcoholic fermentation in 12-ton amphora with temperature control and complete tanning.
But what is amphora winemaking?
In Portugal, mainly in the Alentejo region, the technique of making wine in clay amphoras, called ‘talhas’ by the Romans, is still preserved.
The talha can hold up to 2000 liters of must. Because it is made of clay, it must be coated with a porous and impermeable surface. And the wine made in them is unparalleled.
Basically, the grapes are crushed and then placed in the pots, where fermentation takes place spontaneously. During fermentation, the grape pulp and peel rise to the surface and form a solid mass. Twice a day, they are mixed with a large wooden spoon to get them back into the must, thereby imparting more color, aroma and flavor to the wine.
In order to reduce the temperature, the clay pots are usually moistened several times a day or wrapped in moistened burlap and rags. This helps to keep the fermentation temperature around 17-18 ºC.
Fermentation is usually completed 8-15 days after the grapes have been placed in the husk, and for a few more weeks until the broom lowers to the bottom.
The talhas are opened in a ceremony every year on November 11, St. Martin’s Day. A tap is placed in the place of a cork called batoque near the base, and there are two options: either the wine is served directly from the talha, or emptied, drained in 1-2 days. In this case, the wine is transported to another clay pot, where it winters until it is consumed or bottled at the beginning of the following year (by March at the latest). And the grape mass left in the hive is removed manually, which usually requires a small man to climb down into the pot.
This Piteira Signature 2017 wine presents a pale ruby color.
On the nose, fresh aromas of black fruits and spices such as cherry and blackberry, mixed with chocolate, coffee and some earthy notes.
On the palate, a fine texture with balanced flavors of ripe fruits. An easy-drinking wine with very low tannins and perfect acidity. A velvety, aromatic wine with good persistence and an enjoyable dry finish.
The wine harmonizes well with red or grilled meats, risotto and pasta.
Consume at a temperature between 16-18 °C.
This is a classic amphora wine from Alentejo, awarded several times in Portugal and internationally.
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