Fitapreta Branco de Talha
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FitaPreta is António Maçanita’s estate winery located outside the ancient Roman city of Evora, set among the sun-drenched hills of Alentejo. Founded in 2004 as a partnership between António and the British viticulturist David Booth, FitaPreta has since evolved into a benchmark estate for the New Portugal, frequently earning Antonio accolades like “Winemaker of the Year.”
António works only with indigenous varieties and ambient yeast ferments, crafting wines that are keenly representative of Alentejo, but with a balance and freshness that few others in the region have been able to match. Painstaking vineyard work, nighttime harvests and entirely gravity-fed winemaking are elements of António’s process that yield wines that are “full of sun,” as he says, but with lift and elegance instead of cloying power and over-extracted fruit. António operates on the Portuguese idea of “Palpite,” or intuition, to communicate terroir, with a foot firmly planted in both camps of tradition and modernity. He allows each parcel to ferment slowly and separately, combining the final blend to showcase a tapestry of the landscape of Southern Portugal. Each markedly different, but with a throughline of elegance and purity, the broad scope of the wines he creates at FitaPreta is a testament to his inquisitive intellect and fastidious attention to detail in his winemaking processes.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is a traditional Alentejo white blend aged in Talha, or Amphora, as a tribute to the ancient tradition of winemaking in this part of Portugal. Hand-sorted to select the very best fruit in the harvest, Fitapreta Branco da Talha is spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeasts using whole clusters in stainless steel, then racked using gravity to 1000L amphora for 28 days, then transferred to stainless steel for another 6 months. The result is a unique, traditional expression of the terroir of Southern Portugal.
2018 91 WE, 90 WA; 2017 89WA; 2016 90WA; 2015 91WA; 2013 90WA; 2012 90WS; 2011 90WA;
70% Roupeiro, 30% Arinto Vaz. Sustainably grown vines planted from 1979-1989 planted in rocky schist at 300-400 m (984-1,312 ft) elevation
Roast chicken with wild mushrooms; richer seafood stews and braises.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Spontaneously fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. Racked to clay amphorae for 28 days, then racked using gravity to stainless steel aging tanks for 6 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 3000 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.
Yellow-gold. On the nose, powerful earth, mineral and honey notes lead the way for focused aromas of green apple, lemon, and unripe mango. On the palate, broad and weighty. Earthy, flinty mineral notes lead the way again here, with high-toned, Chablis-like orchard and stone fruit in the mid palate. The schist shows through on the finish, lending an interesting juxtaposition of finesse with the weight.