Alvaro Castro Dao Red 2014
The vines are between 3 and 65 years old. They are located at an average altitude of 550 meters. The total area amounts to 60 hectares, which are planted in granite soils with rows of sand and clay. Varietals that are typical of the region and encompass over 30 different varieties include: Encruzado, Cercial, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen and Alfrocheiro.
Producing some of the country’s most dignified and mineral-driven red wines, Dão is positioned in north central Portugal where granite mountains surround and shelter the region from any Atlantic maritime influence. Summers are long and warm; winters see abundant rainfall.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.