Susana Esteban 'Tira O Veu', Serra de São Mamde, Alentejo DOC 2021
A mix of traditional varieties from Serra de São Mamede
Tira O Veu is a field blend of old vine, traditional Portuguese verities from 85+ year vines, 700 meters above sea level in the Serra de São Mamede on granite soils.
30% of the grapes undergo fermentation on skins in amphora. After the fermentation the grapes are pressed and, when the skins have settled to the bottom, the wine is drawn off and put back into the same amphora.
Susana had been experimenting with fermentation and skin-contact times when a happy accident occurred, along came COVID and she couldn't bottle that spring. As the months went on the cellar warmed and a layer of flor developed on the wine – by accident. She left it for six months under flor and now the same amphorae develop flor every year.
The flor is subtle, as is the influence of the skin contact. There's the telltale aromas of flor plus orange blossom and floral notes on the nose. The skin maceration gives a subtle but complex mouth feel, it's full bodied with lovely grip and texture. Delicious now and age worthy.
Serra de São Mamede is in the mountains of Portalalegre in the coolest subregion of Alentejo/Alentejano. It's surrounded by the forests of a national park and 700 meters above the plains of Alentejo, as a result Susana's style of wines are 'not' typical of Alentejo, they're fresher by design, more complex and with an elegance that surprises.
Pairs well with seafood and pasta based dishes.