When one of the most well-known bankers of Portugal retreats to a rural farm in the vicinity of Sintra, what does he do to kill time? The answer to this question is brought to us by the engineer Jardim Gonçalves: by merging his passion for work with the talent of the enologist Francisco Figueiro, to produce, from scratch, three of the most exquisite wines of the region.
Jardim Gonçalves’ value is recognized by the entire country. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the remarkable Infinitude wines created by the latter in collaboration with Francisco Figueiro, from the vineyards planted in a humble hectare from Quinta da Azenha — the place he now calls home.
The vineyard, born in the first year of the millennium, holds inside its walls seven thousand square meters of Pinot Noir, in addition to the three thousand square meters of Merlot, planted in a continued piece of land. In 2010, the first wine was created from this vines, for the family to enjoy. The following harvests gave birth to a brand that would be named Infinitude, in honor of the family’s generations.
Soon, two and a half hectares of vineyards emerge in a property that was now being reborn. White grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Malvasia de Colares, were also grown, ennobling the land, and a wine cellar, that would come to be the legendary cellar of Colares — now used to assess the winemaking process — is also drafted.
After the harvest, mid-September and beginning of October, the castes are destemmed separately, through the classical process of tanning. The fermentation is done at a controlled temperature (26°C to 28°C) and goes through a carefully managed reassembly process, followed by a stage in small used casks made of French oak.
The humble portfolio includes a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot, that add two strains of both castes. Only four thousand bottles are reproduced from the Infinitude blend. It is a dry wine, with saline notes that are complex and fresh and give away, like intended by its makers, a great potential for bottle aging.
The Infinitude Merlot only holds the caste from which it got its name. Wine from several harvests, aged in French oak casks, reveals notes of spices, lightly vegetal, with silky tannins and a long-lasting end.
The Pinot Noir follows a similar philosophy by combining, in the words of Francisco Figueiredo, “50% of the 2012 harvest with used cask and the other 50% coming from harvests of 2014 and 2015”. The wine is subtle, with floral and wood soil notes and uncovers an expressive acidity that allow us to guess its longevity.
Quinta da Azenha, that once accommodated the elite of business and politics, is now characterized by its bucolic atmosphere of soft domesticity.
To the family of the engineer Jardim Gonçalves — his wife, five children and numerous grandchildren of varied ages — there is always an excuse to honor the peaceful passing of time and the harmony among generations. Let us join them in one last toast, with the wine that they crafted, that will hopefully carry them on for centuries of prosperity.