The renowned winemaker, defender of Portuguese grape varieties, opens the first wine shop in Lisbon, inserted in a new snack restaurant. It promises.
Actually, it's not really a store. Or at least it's not a 'normal' wine shop. It is a restaurant where wines are the complement. Wines from various national regions, exclusive to the restaurant and prepared by the winemaker, which harmonize with the snacks served at the table but can also be taken home.
It all started through the good friendship between Paulo Laureano and lawyer Nuno David Costa Noronha, both fond of good food, good wine and good conversations. Thus was born the 'Impeccable', a restaurant scheduled to open at the end of February, but which only opened now due to the pandemic of Coronavirus. "After the 'scare', and having a notion of the hygiene rules now imposed, we are finally moving forward," confident Nuno David reveals. "Opening this store at a time like this is a real adventure, but we believe this bad phase will pass. This concept meets the meeting between friends who like to enjoy good wines and gastronomy", completes Paulo Laureano.
Set in a yellow house in front of the Queluz Palace, 'Impecável' serves national snacks prepared by the resident kitchen team, but also wants to invite chefs from time to time, organizing gastronomic weeks. In the wines, it's going to be the same. "The restaurant serves my wines exclusively but we want to have wines from other producers who, like me, respect portuguese varieties," says Paulo Laureano.
With a winery established in Vidigueira, Paulo Laureano is, however, a travelled winemaker who likes to explore other stops: "Portugal is a very rich country with amazing wines. I've been trying to get the best of each of them to get some of the best. Fresh wines, with character and longevity", says the winemaker.
Taking advantage of the inauguration of the space, Paulo Laureano also presented new harvests and some novelties. Casa das Infantas by Paulo Laureano Escolha branco 2018 was the first in a series of gastronomic whites. This is from the region of green wines, obtained from the Loureiro variety, produced on the property of Diogo Villas Boas, in Guimarães. The grapes were harvested from 7 hectares of vineyards, on a south-facing slope, arranged on wide levels and in a soil of granite origin. In the aroma is floral, citrus, saline, with good mouth structure and excellent acidity.
The trip continued to the islands, with the white Paulo Laureano IG Azores 2018. For more than 20 years, Paulo Laureano has been consulting for the company Curral de Atlantis, in Pico, and it was in this producer that the winemaker made his first wine. This white is based on Arinto dos Açores complemented with Verdelho. Fermented in stainless steel, aged on a fine sludge of yeast and, after bottling, remained in the cellar 12 months before its release. Salinity, minerality, tropical fruit. A white of great character, very elegant, balanced and with a vibrant acidity.
Back on the continent, it was the turn to taste paulo laureano DOC Bucelas 2017, lisbon region, produced from the vineyards of António Paneiro Pinto, of whom the winemaker has been a consultant for several years. The valleys of Bucelas protect the vineyards from the winds of the sea, and their soils derived from marls and hard limestones mark the personality of its two most important white varieties, Arinto and Esgana Cão (Cercial). Aged in stainless steel and was left with a fine sludge of yeast for a year, without lipstick. Its aroma is mineral, with notes of white pulp. Dry, long and with excellent acidity.
Paulo Laureano Genus Generationes Maria Teresa Laureano Verdelho 2018 was the next wine. It is a white made from the verdelho variety, of plants brought from Madeira and grafted on Vidigueira, dedicated to the winemaker's daughter. Fermented only in stainless steel, it is saline, citrus and mineral. Fresh and elegant.
Another white complements this series. The antão Vaz grape variety, ex-libris from Vidigueira, gave rise to Paulo Laureano Vinhas Velhas Private Selection branco 2018, produced from the best grapes of old vineyards implanted in soils with black shale and warm climate with some strong thermal amplitude, which allows a good concentration of grapes. Fermented and aged in French oak barrels for 6 months. In aroma is tropical, citrus, mineral. In the mouth reveals good freshness, structure and is engaging.
Wines in pair and one for dessert
When the Norwegian Sea Food Council challenged Paulo Laureano to design a wine to accompany Cod dishes, the winemaker eventually drew two. The first is a white (Paulo Laureano Bacalhau Escolha DOC Vidigueira 2018) and the second, a red (Paulo Laureano Bacalhau Escolha DOC Vidigueira Red 2015). The white is prepared with Antão Vaz da Vidigueira, fermented and staged in French oak barrels, very tropical and with mineral notes. In the mouth it is soft, very fresh and unctuous. The red results from a selection of grapes of high concentration of varieties Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Tinta Grossa. Of fruity aroma, vegetable, notes of spice and cocoa, it is a red of excellent freshness, elegance and prolonged. They are wines that do not integrate the portfolio permanently, being only available between Easter and Christmas, the two remarkable seasons of cod consumption.
Two other wines presented in pair were inventum white 2018 and inventum red 2015. Inventum is the Latin word for discovery. Vidigueira is a land of discoverers, with Admiral Vasco da Gama at the head. This line of wines, designed exclusively for the distributor Garcias Gourmet, wants to bring the most emblematic varieties of Vidigueira to the discovery of new consumers, hoping that these consumers will also discover them and realize the difference that Vidigueira prints in the personality of wines. In white, the antão Vaz variety fermented in new and used barrels, having interned in the latter. The aroma is of denser tropical fruit, citrus fruits and some white fruit. Soft, fresh.
The red version is prepared with Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Tinta Grossa. This last variety is exclusive to the Vidigueira region and was almost driven to extinction, but Paulo Laureano Vinus rescued it and even produces a varietal with it. After fermenting, the wine aged in barrels for 12 months and was in bottle, looking for balance and harmony. It has black fruit in aroma, spice, mint, chocolate and toasted notes. It's fresh, dense, balanced.
Finally, a dessert wine was also tasted, an island surprise that will only go to market at the end of the year. It is a liqueur of pico da casta verdelho, a rare pearl that gave rise to only 400 bottles. Jewelry like this can't be proven every day.