There are certainly many good wines in Dão, but few reach the genuineness and depth of the region with the elegance of this wine from Casa da Passarella. If the Harvest 2009 was a harvest that has already impressed, the 2011 now launched reveals even greater elegance and tuning.
Those who taste many wines a day, of all regions, styles, grape varieties and ages - make it their profession - the degree of demand becomes increasing, to the point of recognizing the quality of top wines, but rarely lets themselves be impressed, no matter how good they are. But when the limit of the very good becomes exceptional, the case changes picture. This is the case of this Vintage 2011.
Those who remember having tasted great Dão wines in the past can now relive these sensations through this red, a wine that pays homage to a work of generations working in the vineyard, highlighting at the same time the improved oenology that has been practiced over the last decade in this reference property located in Lagarinhos. The author of the wine, the winemaker Paulo Nunes, is known for his work of research, experimentation, and respect for traditions, having succeeded immediately from the first harvest (2009) to make known a great classic of the region, holder of a huge aging potential. "This is a great wine thanks to a legacy of vineyards that were planted dozens of years ago. It is a privilege to have this raw material to work with and this freedom of expression to create and make known wines like this", says Paulo Nunes (in the entry photo).
Made from the best plots of vineyards over 80 years old, where there are 24 varieties, it is from those wines that mark the memory. In its composition are the varieties Baga, Touriga Nacional Alvarelhão, Tinta Pinheira, Jaen, Alfrocheiro and Tinta -carvalha, among others. After the manual harvest, the grapes go to the cellar, where they are trodden on foot with full stake in a traditional granite lagar. Then dip the blanket twice a day for 8 to 10 days. Just fermented, the wine is taken to an old barrel, where it makes the malolactic, and stays there for a year. It is then transferred to used 600 litre barrels for another year. Finally it is bottled and only released to the market ten years later, if the winemaker considers that the wine has reached its maximum point of equilibrium. Being a wine of minimal intervention in the cellar, but of great qualitative requirement, the decision to launch it is limited to the best years.
A work of art of nature combined with the wisdom of the winemaker. There are the red fruits, the spice, the resin, the balsamic in the aroma so characteristic of the wines of the region, complemented by beautiful tertiary aromas. On the palate it is a velvety and enveloping red, of fine complexity and freshness. There is the enormous elegance that the region has always given to dão's great classics.
Alongside this wine, other novelties have just arrived from the lands of Casa da Passarella. Wines such as Casa da Passarella Villa Oliveira Encruzado 2019, the first brand created by the producer, born more than 100 years ago, and produced in limited editions. It is born from grapes harvested manually, exclusively from the Encruzado variety, with fermentation beginning in tanning and final in barrica. Tell those who write to you that it is one of the most elegant Encruzados in the region.
The House of Passarella The Fugitive Curtimenta 2020, has a concept that goes from all the rules. It is a wine collection, wines that are not easily found, just for connoisseurs. Curtimenta, a technique that has always been used in Casa da Passarella in the production of white wines (although this method is usually used for red wines) produces wines of enormous character, personality and differentiation.
Another interesting wine is casa da Passarella O Fugitivo Barcelo 2021, a return to the deepest root of Passarella: the ancestral winemaking of grape varieties present in the historical lots of old vineyards. With this wine, Paulo Nunes also continues his path for the recovery of grape varieties, having this time been chosen barcelo for this monocaste. A variety that was abandoned for being very productive, but which has already proven to give rise to good wines. "It is a variety to which we must continue to pay attention since it behaves well in the vineyard, does not give maturation problems and has elegance of aroma and flavor", explains the winemaker who also reinforces his minimal intervention in the cellar, in order to show well the character of the grape variety.
For the differentiating character, Casa da Passarella O Fugitivo Pinot Noir also stood out during the race. Famous for its aromatic delicacy and structure, but also for the history that this unique caste knew how to write in the past of this century-old house (it has been used in Passarella for over a century), the Pinot Noir variety served as the basis for this red. In the past, it was part of famous foaming trials in the 1930s and later was the grape variety that served as a culture medium for the native yeasts of Casa da Passarella, given its precocity of maturation, which implies an irreprehensible sanity. "It is the earliest variety we have, the harder to work, but it results in this wine with great character. This is a different Pinot, we use partial sizing in the lagar to give it more structure, but it remains a wine of great elegance", explains Paulo Nunes
About Passarella wines: Since 1892, Casa da Passarella, in Gouveia, dão, has made great wines, with the mountains of Serra da Estrela by witnesses. Time and 'terroir' are cross-beams of its history. With 60 hectares of vineyards, some of them centuries old, it is from there that the winemaker Paulo Nunes collects several varieties to make his experiments and creations. The rescue of neglected or forgotten Dão varieties is one of the missions he took for himself, recovering the region's heritage. A responsibility that assumes with passion, resulting in wines that express the terroir, the essence of these vineyards, and the identity of Casa da Passarella. Fruit of chance, the generosity of nature, a way of being, or the talent of those who passed through the lands of Passarella, these lands of the sub-region of Serra da Estrela watched the creation of wines that passed through the sieve of time and survived it with distinction, over more than a century of life