It was in Serra de Montargil, Alto Alentejo region, that the Tenreiro family recovered the old winemaking tradition of Herdade da Anta de Cima, lost in the 1950s. After the careful planting of the vineyards, the old clay wine cellar was rehabilitated, inspiring an excellent and already prestigious portfolio of wines named Argilla.
This is a story of return. A return to the origins, to the charm of the cork oak and the pine forest, to the prodigality of the land, the vineyard and its fruits. It is a return to wine, seventy years after the beginning of the last strains of the estate, in good time recovered. It is the return to the cellar that remaine, with its hoists, now recovered. It is the return to a sustainable, integrated production agriculture that promotes biodiversity, preserves water resources and soils, and protects the ecosystem. It is a return to the Portuguese grape varieties, the wines of terroir, a return to the wisdom of other times that the science and technology of our days underline and stand out.
It was in 2010 that the vineyards returned to Herdade da Anta de Cima; the habitat of partridge-red and pigeon-wood, woodcock and royal duck, hare, fox and eagle-royal. In 2012 the first Argilla wines were produced, the culmination of a family project that the critics and the most demanding lovers have cherished since the beginning. This portfolio, born on the slopes of Montargil, now encompasses five distinct wines.
The White Talha de Argilla MMXVI was made of grapes harvested manually in mid-August, originating from clay soils, subject to fermentation and a four-month stage in 140-liter clay hoists. Blend of Alvarinho, Verdelho and Viosinho, reveals great aromatic elegance, with notes of brioche, beeswax and apricot in syrup, and appears in the mouth harmonious and textured, silky, wraparound, with long ending, revealing a great aging potential in the bottle.
The Red Talha de Argila, from the same year, mixes grapes from Alicante Bouschet, Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional and Petit Verdot. Subject to identical stage in clay carving, it exhibits an intense, complex, spicy, mineral nose. In the mouth emerges enveloping, vegetable, with long and generous ending.
The Talha de Argilla Alfrocheiro varietal reveals the whole character of the variety and the specificity of the terroir in a nose marked by clay, black fruits and spices, and the mouth of great softness, enveloping, balanced. An irresistible wine.
A serious case of freshness and balance is the White Argilla of 2015. Subject to a 10-month stage in stainless steel tanks, made of Alvarinho, Verdelho and Viosinho, it appears on the nose with a great balance between fruits, vegetable and mineral notes: grapefruit, aromatic herbs, chalk. In the mouth reveals good volume and acidity, notes of grass and fruit, a fresh and long, memorable finish.
The Argilla Tinto MMXVI is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional and Petit Verdot, subject to a 10-month stage in stainless steel tanks. Elegant in aroma, with notes of blackberry, quince, black pepper, appears in the mouth with fine tannins, structured, a long and fresh finish. This is a very gastronomic wine.
In short, five wines that highly regards to us all the technical expertise and sensibility of the winemakers Paulo Tenreiro and Nuno Mira do Ó, Herdade da Anta de Cima was able to resurrect the elegance and the character of the remarkable wines of the Alto Alentejo, legitimating the winemaking traditions which there were extinguished seven decades. For the Tenreiro family, and for all of us, it is undoubtedly a winning bet.