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Caves S. Joao, established in 1920, became a dominant force in Portuguese wine making in the early 20th century with their houses Porta dos Cavaleiros in Dao and Frei Joao in Bairrada. Given the shifting trends in consumer preferences, Bairrada and Dao fell to obscurity in the 1990s when critical influence drove the demand for bigger, extracted, warmer climate wines. As in all things, however, what comes around goes around! Sure enough, 20 years later savvy consumers and food-conscious sommeliers are looking for finesse and freshness and heading back to Bairrada and Dao. In 2013, the Costa family, owners of the estate, decided to open their cellars and offer the old vintages in stock, ranging from 1959 to 2000. Wines that when young had a vegetal character, pronounced tannins and high acidity aged gracefully when kept in perfect condition at the winery for 20-40 years, and are now pristine examples of mature wines with profound finesse and irreplicable complexity. Caves S. Joao is the only winery in Portugal offering library releases of still wines commercially, with vintages going back to the 1950s
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is an opportunity to taste a perfectly aged, mature Bairrada, showcasing the capacity for longevity that this region is known for. A library release from the winery itself, with the bottles kept in pristine condition for decades, these wines show a complexity that cannot be derived in any other way.
90% Baga, 5% Castelao and 5% Moreto. Vines planted in 1980. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 50m (164 ft) elevation. The vineyards are planted in Bairrada - The place of clay. The area has a mild, maritime climate with abundant rainfall, which can make the rot-prone Baga a difficult variety to grow.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Open top, extended skin fermentation. 24 months on cement tanks, filtered and bottled. Bottles come to us straight from the winery.
2,500 cases (6 pack); 1,000 bottles (1.5L)
Intense tannins give incredible structure and propensity to age balanced out with fresh acidity.