“Some years ago I was driving from Bairrada to the Dão valley, using the old road between the Caramulo mountain and the Buçaco castle. I was struck by the beauty of nature and the authenticity of a region lost in time. My eyes fell on a fantastic old vineyard surrounded by granitic stones next to a Roman way – incredible. I tasted the grapes and I was more than amazed by the deepness and character I experienced. I drove back home singing Louis Armstrong’s classic :« What a wonderful world.»”
I’m remembering the words of Filipa Pato, when she told me how she found the vineyard in Dão (for her Lokal Silex). This was in the beginning of 2010 and I had just discovered and tasted 2008 Lokal Silex for the first time. Instant love and the wine charmed my pants off. I couldn’t control myself and opened one more shortly after that – and yes just as gorgeous. Then I managed some self-restraint for 2+ years, until recently; after all what if I was in love with the youthful and vibrant fruit?
The Lokal Silex is to be found in the Dão region and is named after the dominating soil, granitic flint. The Silex is mainly a Touriga Nacional completed with as Filipa told me, some mystery friends. The vines are roughly 20 years old and the density around 4000 vines per hectare. From that Filipa harvested 18hl/ha in 2008. Wild yeast is used and the vinification is organic. Fermentation in lagares at a maximum of 27 C and a pre-maceration of two days at 10 C. Matured in casks for a year.
The 2008 has evolved in the best possible way, just starting to show some maturity. Yes, it is still an amazing wine and simply a must try. I saved a glass in the bottle, for tasting the next day and it was even better. Violet scents, moist leather, lots of humus, dried roses, sweet-root and dark cherries. Perfect oak treatment. On the palate a dusty summer road, cold climate acidity, pure class and gorgeous red, dark red fruit. Just a hint of the oak. A power package and yet both elegant and a seducer. It will most likely continue to age gracefully for years and I do think it’s even better now than in the beginning of 2010.
Please, start taking Portuguese table wines seriously. This one’s a great start on your journey.
The Virtuoso Says:
Want to find the wine? Use the Wine-searcher at the right top of the page or check Vinopedia here. Expect to pay around 25-30 euros for the 2008.