In Portalegre, among some of the most beautiful landscapes from Alentejo, Monte da Torre do Frade is proud of a history that has crossed centuries to end up in four family generations. Nowadays, this family invests in the making of their high-quality wines the same methodical passion invested in everything else done before.
The first memories of these vast lands go as far as the 14th century and they tell the story of an ancient monastery that has succumbed to the liberal confrontations. The lands were acquired by the family of their current owners in 1839. This action has determined the destiny of the following four generations. The wines only came in 2000, making their way through livestock, cereals, cork oaks and holm oaks and forest.
In that date, the agricultural society planted circa 14 hectares of vineyards, divided into four red vine varieties suitable to the terroir: Aragonês, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira and, later, Syrah. Sometime after two white ones were added: Arinto and Viognier and a re-grafting of Antão Vaz. Nowadays the total area covered by grapes is over 30 hectares.
At first, they were sold to a third party, but soon they would give place to the production of their own wine in a meticulously planned transition. As it happens to many late vocations, the Torre do Frade wine project was adopted with fervor and immediately attracted numerous signs of approval from the connoisseurs.
The mission of elaborating the first wine of the brand was given to Paulo Laureano, a prestigious oenologist that has been adding on successful wine releases in Portugal.
And therefore, Torre do Frade Reserva red was created, producing 7.800 bottles. A blend of Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira and Aragonês, it ages in French oak, bearing a deep grenadine color and a strong aroma with lots of black fruit among spicy and smoked hints. It is very elegant in the mouth, with a well-integrated barrel, in a balanced ensemble where a long and persistent finish stands out. Shortly after its baptism, it was awarded with a Gold Medal in the Mundus Vini contest and another one in the Concurso Nacional de Vinhos Engarrafados in Santarém.
2009 would witness the birth of the first white of the winery, the Torre do Frade Viognier. It sold out in two weeks. The most recent incarnation of this wine goes back to 2011.With dry apricot and citric aromatic hints, it is fine in the mouth and prolonged in the middle of the tasting displaying considerable wideness, with crispy and mineral hints; fruity, fresh and prolonged ending. It’s very elegant, with great structure and can be distinguished by a remarkable balance between acidity and citric intensity.
The winery also produces a middle segment brand called Virgo that declines in red and white. The 2010 red Virgo is a blend of Syrah, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Aragonês with a young, very intense red fruits, blackberries, cherries and plums aroma. It evolves very well in the bottle and turns into a very solid, spicy and contemporary wine.
The 2010 white Virgo displays an intense citric aroma with floral and tropical fruits hints. With the good Viognier structure, a good balance between wideness and freshness, it is a very versatile wine, whether it is served as aperitif or along with the meal.
In a sub-region from Alentejo that has originated some of the greatest Portuguese wines, Torre do Frade expresses its decision of getting the recognition it deserves. With a brief but expressive portfolio composed by high-quality wines, the estate seems to strive to achieve the glory that will certainly arrive. We couldn’t expect less from their secular parchments or from the beautiful district they embellish.