Quinta de Foz de Arouce – Vinhas de Santa Maria 2001
Bottle recently purchased (at a very honest price) at Garrafeira Louro, owned by my friend João Passos, in Évora, where it has lived all these years in a climatized cellar, which meets all the requirements for an ideal aging of the wines.
In fact, the bottle was in excellent condition. Flawless label and right level. The cork was only (very) slightly passed, but with good consistency, holding up very well the sack of tweezers.
The color is a dark ruby, with discreet tones.
Nose a little blank, maybe because I was with a little cold. I also find it important not to serve the wine too cold as it begins to release more aromas as it warms. And as you breathe, decanting is important. And also for separating the coarse lees from the bottom. The balsamic cedar expected from the berry begins timidly to appear. Smoke, stone. A vegetable brushstroke of black tea. Coffee; a tertiary touch (a bit of rubber) that is quickly replaced by fruit primers, spices (black pepper) and volatile acidity.
In the mouth has fresh red fruit, freshly crushed. Dry, coarse-grained tannins with the lowest temperature, which will slowly soften over time – another reason not to serve too cold wine. Good acidity. The final, medium length, is therefore a trilogy of red fruit, acidity and tannins.
It looks like a wine that needs food to be at its best, a bit “thin” but not in a bad way: it looks like it was actually made to make a dish shine. Perhaps a simple loaf of beef, well interspersed with fat, grilled; a good duck rice; or perhaps even a roasted suckling pig in the fashion of Bairrada?
With the still vibrant notes of fruit, the sharp acidity and the well present tannins, it has a wide temporal window of consumption. In fact, you may not yet have reached the ideal point to uncover the bottles! For what I have left (which I do not intend to open in the next 2-3 years), I hope that the wine will gain more complexity and new dimensions in terms of breadth of aromas and especially of the palate.
G. P. (MAR-2019)
- 17 Points