Uncertain are always the challenges, even when we trust that it will go well. Even more so when it comes to making differentiating wines in a region that is not easily sellable, at least when we talk about the common consumer. But without looking at fears, Monica and Sandro Mendonça decided to jump on a parade in this adventure, being held by an experienced technical team. The result was a success.
In a region where the Verdelho grape variety reigns, queen in the table wines and liqueurs of the Azores, and make a wine with a different variety, ink, and on top of that foreign, is almost a provocation ... But as they say, for everything there is a reason!
Adega dos Sentidos – formerly called Adega Simas – was the place where Mónica's father always produced his wine in the parish of Biscoitos, on terceira island. It was therefore not an unknown world for Monica who, together with her husband Sandro Mendonça, decided in 2021 to continue family traditions but with some innovation in the middle. Thus, if in viticulture already had Rufino Simas (who oversees the 14 vineyard alqueels in the traditional black stone corrals that protects the plants from the harsh winds) they needed to entrust the production part to someone who made wines with the desired profile. This is called for this adventure Jorge Alves, winemaker responsible for renowned wine projects in several national regions such as Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo and Adega Quanta Terra (Douro), Quinta da Taboadella (Dão) or Herdade da Aldeia de Cima (Alentejo). With him, he brought Pedro Alves, his recently graduated son in Oenology from the University of Alto Douro and Trás-os-Montes (UTAD), who eventually gave himself body and soul to the project. "Embracing this project was a unique decision. The opportunities are to grasp, and there are decisive moments that we have to face without fears! In November 2021 I received a message and the whole adventure began. After almost a year, many decisions were made, people who were unknown to me became part of my day to day, a world of emotions.... Emotions that culminated in an inexplicable pride of having my name on a counterlabel, of a project i saw being born, embraced, cared for and will continue to take care of, always drinking from the same glass of my father!", Said Pedro Alves with the enthusiasm of his age and the passion he has for wine.
Thus, the first wine to be released to the market was The Uncertainty rosé 2021, made with Grenache grapes harvested manually, desengated and fermented with temperature control. The wine then aged for 9 months in stainless steel vats. In context, Grenache is one of the most cultivated red grapes in the world and adapts well to warmer climates, being used in the production of wines in France, Spain, United States, Australia and Italy. In France, it is the most planted in the south of the Rhône Valley, especially in Châteauneuf-du-pape, (about 80%) and widely used in blend and rosé wines. Its aromas are usually fruity and spicy, with balanced acidity, elegant tannins and little color. In the Azores had to adapt to the terroir and gave rise to a wine little intense in the aroma, slightly fruity and floral. On the palate continues with the same fruity profile, but complemented with the volcanic profile and salinity so characteristic of these stops. Its structure is median but already marks the palate, ending long. The production is only 940 bottles.
Right after the rosé came the white, from Verdelho. This being the variety of choice of the Azores, the path chosen was not so much innovation, but elegance to honor tradition. In the harvest and winemaking, followed the same steps as the rosé. It resulted in a wine with a flower aroma, white stone fruit and sea breeze. On the palate, it is very citrus, saline and mineral, very engaging, fresh and crispy. Like its rosy 'brother', it is limited edition and has a structure already with some complexity and a long finish. Having not innovated in the wine variety, the producers were able to innovate in the shape of the bottle, out of the ordinary. After all, the eyes also 'drink'!