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Fitapreta is the culmination of a partnership between a young, dynamic Portuguese winemaker and a British-born viticulturist, dedicated to a new examination of terroir in the Alentejo. The winemaker Antonio Macanita returned home to his native Portugal after winemaking stints in Napa, Australia and France, most notably Ch. Lynch Bages. David Booth, the viticulturist, was already well established in Portugal when they began work together in 2004. Fitapreta operates on the Portuguese idea of “Palpite” or intuition when it comes to their viticulture and winemaking. With this trust of the land and the natural growth process of the vineyard, they are able to make wines that are imbued with a singular sense of place. They operate on a strictly gravity-fed basis in the winery, to avoid any harsh treatment of the must. All wines are spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts. Small parcels of each vineyard are fermented separately to preserve distinct stylistic qualities. These are then blended to achieve a layered, complete picture of the terroir.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is an unadulterated, crystal clear expression of the Alentejo's terroir. Using indigenous varietals and minimal interventionist winemaking and viticulture, this wine shows remarkable purity. Hand-sorted to select the very best fruit in the harvest, Fitapreta Tinto is spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, then racked using gravity to stainless steel aging tanks.
2018 89WA; 2015 90WA & IWR; 2013 88WA
40% Aragones, 30% Trincadeira, 30% Alicante Bouschet. Sustainably grown vines planted from 1979-1989. Tended in rocky schist at elevation soil at 300-400 m (984-1,312 ft) elevation
Grilled meats of all kinds are a lovely pair with the fresh, lush fruit profile. Lamb shoulder chops, dusted with smoked paprika and pepper before grilling, would be ideal.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Spontaneously fermented using indigenous yeasts in small barrels. Post-fermentation maceration for 15 days. 50% of the wine is then racked by gravity to 2nd and 3rd use French oak for 9 months.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The Alentejo is a large region in southeastern central Portugal, which is one of the agricultural centers of the country. The climate is Atlantic-Mediterranean, with significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature differences. This temperature range produces fruit with a natural combination of maturity and freshness. The Alentejo sees 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and 600mm of annual rainfall, less than 15% of which falls during the growing season. These vineyards are planted to rocky schist at 300-400m elevation asl.
Deep ruby-violet. Fresh and roasted red berry fruit on the nose, with lilting notes of toast and spicebox overlaid with fresh eucalyptus. On the palate, lush and ripe, with abundant fresh berries and cherry compote up front. The mid palate shows the minerality and a touch of smoke, with considerable length.
Shelf Talker 2018