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Muxagat Quinta do Monte Xisto 2013

    750ML / 14% ABV
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    750ML / 14% ABV

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    Muxagat

    Muxagat

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    Muxagat, Portugal
    Muxagat is a project between two grape growers from the Douro Valley, Mateus Nicolau de Almeida and Eduardo Lopes, with the goal of producing high quality wines. Muxagat Vinhos started as a small garage winery in 2002, in the tiny village of Muxagata, outside the town of Vila Nova de Foz Coa. The following year the company moved to Meda, to an old traditional winery with granite lagars. The new winery is located at a higher altitude, allowing for cooler temperatures, ideal for ageing wine. The first Muxagat harvest in 2002 produced 5,000 bottles of red wine. In 2003, they produced 6,000 bottles of white wine. The goal is to gradually increase quantities to 50,000 bottles a year while still producing great quality wines.

    The winemaking responsibilities belong to Mateus Nicolau de Almeida. The vineyards are situated in the Douro Superior section of the Douro Valley, in the northwest of Portugal near the Spanish border, which is famous for its Port wine. The soil is made of schist and the climate conditions allow for very low yields, around 2.2 tons per acre. The vineyard is planted in terraces with the vines and average age of 40 years old for the white, and ten for the red. The grape varieties are indigenous to Portugal; the white grapes are mainly Rabigato, while Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Tinto Roriz make up the reds.

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    Douro

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    The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.

    While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.

    White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.

    With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.

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    Other Red Blends

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    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.

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