Antonio Maçanita is one of the most dynamic, brilliant young winemakers in Portugal, crafting wines everywhere from the Azores archipelago to Alentejo. It turns out he’s also a master at navigating sibling rivalry… or perhaps its his sister that is the diplomat? In the Douro, this brother and sister team has managed to pool their considerable winemaking talent to showcase the breadth of terroir in the oldest classified European appellation. Sourcing from sites spread across the 3 subzones of the Douro, the Maçanitas use classic Douro grape varieties with modern winemaking techniques to produce wines of balance, elegance and true Douro character. Somehow managing to combine Antonio’s wink-and-nod irreverence and Joana’s steadfast pursuit of preserving Portuguese winemaking traditions, this brother and sister team has captured the spirit of the Douro as only they are able.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? This is a fresh, balanced rendition of a classic Douro red. Preserving the intrinsic bent toward the richness and power of the Douro, all while showcasing balance, minerality and elegance.
RATING HISTORY: 2017 = 95 Decanter, 2016 = 93 W&S (Year's Best Bairrada, Dao & Douro)
GRAPE: 55% Touriga Nacional, 25% old vine field blend (80+ years), 20% Sousao planted to schist soils at 100-400m (328 -1,312 ft) elevation. Vine age ranges from 20-80+ years old.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This is a rich, dark fruited wine that pairs beautifully with grilled and roasted meats and richer game dishes.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: Hand harvested. Cold soak fermentation using wild yeasts, with 20 days maceration. Aged for 12 months; 50% in stainless steel, 25% new French barrique, 25% used French barrique.
PRODUCTION: 1,666 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: Vines tended in schist soil at 150-300m (330-1000ft) elevation in Cima Corgo, Douro. This is a subregion that experiences extreme highs and lows from a temperature standpoint, with some of the greatest day-night temperature delta in Portugal. As such the fruit experiences extended hangtime.
TASTING NOTES: Deep violet. On the nose, redolent of black and blue fruit tinged with violets and wet stone. On the palate, rich but balanced, with fresh acidity coupling the dark blueberry and plum fruit. Finishes long and spicy, with a big dose of flowers and minerals.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold