Quinta do Montalto not only dates back to the year 1880 (five generations) but is one of very few wineries that makes a beautiful local wine from the 1100s in the same traditional way it has always been made. Now, this wine lies within the DOC of Medieval de Ourém Encostas d'Aire. In general, their wines are labeled Vinho Regional Lisboa, because they are in farthest-north area of Lisboa (previously Estremadura), between the villages of Ourém and the famed Fátima (where the Blessed Virgin Mary was said to appear to three children in 1917). Montalto is perched in the middle of 50 hectares of certified organic land, and just 15 hectares are vineyards--the rest is dedicated to fruit, gardens, and forest. All of their native varieties are beautifully illustrative of the grapes and area, as they use native yeasts for the fermentation of their Medieval and red wines, very neutral oak, and light filtering methods. Montalto wines are pure, expressive, an incredible value, and a wonderful representation of what the region is known for.
montalto 'vinha da malhada' bruto
The Vinha da Malhada Bruto Reserva takes its name from a 3.5-hectare vineyard of the estate where much of this fruit comes from. It comes from a small plot of the Arinto grape that is planted there, where it is hand harvested and brought into the cellar for a Traditional Method vinification. With the secondary fermentation happening in bottle, the wine rested for over one year before it was disgorged and released for consumption. Being 100% Arinto, it makes for a beautifully aromatic sparkling wine with a phenomenal texture, not only because of the super fine bubbles, but also because the grape lends itself towards a full yet light-on-its-feet style of mouth feel. The fresh and bright aspect of fruit is completely driven and backed by acidity and minerality, making for a crisp yet still robust sparkling wine.
montalto 'cepa pura' fernão pires
100% fernão pires
The Cepa Pura Fernão Pires is a unique and delicious wine that comes from a local and very particular variety that has been planted in the area since medieval times. As a key component of the area’s famous ‘Medieval de Ourem,’ this is an example of Fernão Pires on its own, having gone through a gentle and natural fermentation in both American and French oak barrels with no temperature control. After regular stirring of the fine lees, and completion of fermentation, the wine is bottled and ready for consumption; although due to the complex nature of the grape and this wine, a bit of time in bottle or a decanting before drinking is recommended. The aromas are spicy with hints of wood, apple, distant flowers, and stone, leading to a fresh palate loaded with texture and zip at the same time. The fruit and acid are persistent in the mouth, and the finish is lingering and complex yet clean.
montalto 'medieval de ourém'
fernão pires, trincadeira
The Medieval de Ourém Encostas d’Aire is a wine that has as much incredible history as it does personality. Dating back to the 12th century, the methods that the monks passed on to the locals have lived for centuries and are still carried out in a select few cellars in this now noted DOC. The Medieval wine is a blend of local white Fernão Pires grapes, as well as the red Trincadeira. The vines only have a small post as its guide, so that each plant grows straight up about four feet where fruiting takes place. As it was planted in ancient times, it is still planted at a very high density, and here there are about 7,000 plants per hectare. The white grapes were harvested by hand and removed from the skins in an old basket press, where the must was then collected into large and old chestnut barrels after passing through a simple basket for ‘filtering.’ The barrels were filled 80% full with the Fernão Pires, and waited for a few days until the red grapes were hand de-stemmed and fermented for 4 days in a large tub, pulled off of the skins, and put in the barrels. After two months together in wood, the wine can be bottled or moved to stainless steel tank depending on demand. A fresh and lively light red/rosé style wine that has incredible acidity, lively fruit, and dynamic personality, is the result of this age-old method.
montalto 'vinha da malhada'
aragonez, trincadeira, touriga nac., syrah
The Vinha da Malhada takes its name from a 3.5-hectare vineyard of the estate where much of this fruit comes from. It is a blend of several local and international varieties: Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, and Syrah; all of which were brought into the cellar for a natural fermentation in 5 and 10 thousand liter stainless steel tanks. Once both fermentations completed, the wine saw its first addition of SO2 for stabilization and preservation, was fined with bentonite and pea protein, and after a few months was bottled without filtration to result in a lively and wonderful red. The color is deep and robust, and the aromatics that shoot from the glass are fruity and fresh. The palate offers a very deep structure while being noticeably light on its feet, with bright tones of fruit, and a clean sensation of soil and place.
montalto 'cepa pura' touriga nacional
100% touriga nacional
The Cepa Pura Touriga Nacional is a pure expression of this famous Portuguese grape varietal, but from an area with calcareous and clay soils, which differs greatly from the land north in the Douro. The young vineyard from the estate was harvested in the early mornings of late September, and the fruit was brought in for a natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The fermented juice was then transferred into second use French and American oak barrique, where it then aged for 9 months. Without filtration, the bottled wine offers a wonderful depth of complexity and personality, keeping true to the floral nature of the grape, but also giving a counterpoint of structure, tannin, and weight. On the palate there are dark fruits that are accompanied by a light feel of fresh acidity, spicy earth laden with raw vanilla, and a long finish that begs to stand next to roasted meats.
montalto 'vinha da malhada' rosado
The Vinha da Malhada Rosado comes from a 3.5 hectare plot of fruit that grows several different grape varieties, and all of which are put towards the Vinha da Malhada line of wines. The Rosado comes from two of the indigenous grapes called Moreto and Castelão. After a hand harvest takes place, the fruit stays with its skins for close to a day before being pressed off for a continuation of fermentation in stainless steel. After a few short months, the wine is ready for bottling and the market. With a lively bright pink color, the Malhada has dense bright berry fruit to accompany the light floral tones and present acidity. The mouth has a long and fresh persistence of fruit, and even a bit of brambly character that continues to a nice and satisfying finish.
montalto 'vinha da malhada' reserva
touriga nacional, trincadeira, blend
The Vinha da Malhada Reserva takes its name from a 3.5-hectare vineyard of the estate where much of this fruit comes from. It is a blend of several local varietals: Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouchet, Trincadeira, Castelão, and Aragonez; as well as some Syrah that is planted on the property. The fruit was all brought into the cellar for a natural fermentation in 5 and 10 thousand liter stainless steel tanks. Once the fermentations were over, the wine aged for 6 months in large neutral oak barrels from France and America, before it was bottled and ready for the release to the market after a month. The color is a dark ruby with amazingly savory aromatic tones, backed by ripe fruit and spice. This blend comes together on the palate with loads of dark fruit, spice, fresh acidity, and soft tannins.
montalto 'cepa pura' aragonez
The Cepa Pura Aragonez is a spectacular and complex expression of this Portuguese named Tempranillo, which is also named Tinta Roriz further north. Hand-harvested from a young vineyard, the grapes began a natural fermentation in stainless steel before it was moved to oak barrels. Half of the must was transferred to both French and American 225L oak barriques for ten months, and the other half was moved to 700L French barrels of 5 years for 12 months. When both reconvened in stainless before an unfiltered bottling, the complexities of the finished wine was ready for its rest in the glass. The result is refined and lovely, full of gripping tannin, but still with elegance and grace all the way through to the finish. Beautiful fruit, an earthy base, and a great acidic structure, lends this bottle to age gracefully for a few years, but is also ready for consumption now.