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' branco
fernão pires & arinto
The Vinha da Malhada Branco takes its name from a 3.5-hectare vineyard of the estate where much of this fruit comes from. It is a blend of two local varieties called Fernão Pires and Arinto, that both give wonderful aroma, texture, and flavor to the final wine. The grapes are hand harvested and brought to the cellar for natural fermentation in stainless steel vats. After about three months, the wine is finished and lightly filtered before it is bottled and sent to market. The result is vibrant on the nose with citrus fruits, white peach, and jasmine flowers. The palate is balanced with fruit and juicy acidity, yet carries a slight weight to and it gives a bit of depth with hints of minerality. An incredible value and an ideal white for soft cheeses, white fish, and of course bacalhau.
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.
anfora de baco branco
100% fernão pires
The Anfora de Baco Branco is comprised of the estate’s oldest vines of Fernão Pires, and after de-stemming and a gentle press, the grape must and about 20% of the skins went into 5 350 to 450 liter anfora for natural fermentation. Once fermentation was complete, the skins naturally settled to the bottom of the vessels, and olive oil was poured over the top of the wine to create a natural seal from the oxygen above. After a short rest, in early January the wine was blended together into stainless steel for further settling, saw a small SO2 addition, and was bottled a couple of weeks later. The wine is gorgeous. Delicate in the mouth while simultaneously having full structure and a bold breath of fresh stone fruits, this white balances acidity and sapidity that would make the ancients proud.
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' baga
The Cepa Pura Baga is a pure expression of a fairly unknown grape of central Portugal. A thick-skinned variety that also shows wonderful high acidity, it is a wonder that it has not found its way across the world. After a manual harvest of the Baga fruit, the grapes are fermented naturally in stainless steel vats and then moved to both 225-liter French and American oak, and 700-liter French oak (all several years old) for close to a year of aging. Unfiltered at bottling, the finished wine has such remarkable presence and style in the glass. Aromas of wild berries, forest floor, and purple flowers fill the air as this wine opens up and begins to breath. In the mouth, it has a lovely texture that shows off the bright fruit, fresh acidity, and succulent tannins that come on the back end, all of which continue through to a long and delicious finish.
anfora de baco tinto
aragonez & trincadeira
The Anfora de Baco Tinto is comprised of two grapes, Trincadeira which gives wonderful aromatics and a fresh fruit character, and Aragonez for its earthy and bold structure. After de-stemming and a gentle press, the individual grape musts and about 25% of their skins went into 8 350 to 450 liter anfora for natural fermentation. Once fermentation was complete, the skins naturally settled to the bottom of the vessels, and olive oil was poured over the top of the wine to create a natural seal from the oxygen above. After a short rest, in early January the wine was blended together into stainless steel for further settling, saw a small SO2 addition, and was bottled a couple of weeks later. The result is wonderfully expressive, while retaining a calm to its texture and weight. It is a deliciously unique, fresh, and exuberant natural wine that tips its hat to the past.
montalto 'vinha da malhada'
aragonez, trincadeira, touriga nac. etc
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 with a palate deep in structure while being noticeably light on its feet.
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. As it was planted in ancient times, it is still planted at a very high density (about 7,000 plants per ha). 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 '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.
QUINTA DO MONTALTO
~ anfora de baco wines ~
The Anfora de Baco wines are the winery’s second project that is truly paying homage to historical wines of the region, and is recreating the way clay anfora was used 2,000 years ago during ancient Roman times. Many wineries throughout Portugal use epoxy paint to seal the porous clay, but Quinta do Montalto wanted to prove to its neighbors that like their ancestors, using authentic and high-quality pine-resin could not only be used, but also could give the most natural and best results.
André is not only the 5th generation of the Quinta do Montalto estate, but he is also the 4th generation of natural pine resin harvesters in Brazil. The resin used for these Anfora is his own, and he did this with the help of old local craftsman near the cellar that heard of the project and was immediately interested. He had watched his grandfather use resin for clay when he was a little boy, but had never done it himself... but he was up for the challenge.