Paulo Laureano DOC Bucelas White Lisboa (Cercial & Arinto) 2014 $18.95
From the Calcareous soils of Bucelas near Lisbon, this is a stunning blend of Cercial and Arinto. This is mineral driven wine with intense notes of citrus, fruits and crushed rocks. Full. fresh and crispy on the palate with a long and attractive finish. A must have in the cellar.
PL Sparkling Brut DOC Bucelas (Cercial & Arinto – Method Tradi / 50 Months) 2010 $29.95
Again from the Calcareous soils new Lisbon, this similar blend of Cercial and Arinto cremant is made in the traditional Champagne method. The base wines was produced in vintage 2010 with fermentation in oak barrels. It then goes on for 50 months of aging in bottle on lees before disgorging. Notes of toast, dried fruits, fresh cheese and intense minerality. The palate reflects those same flavours with a fresh and creamy mouse, showing through to a long and creamy finish.
Paulo Laureano, Classico White (Antão Vaz, Roupeiro) 2015 $14.95
The Branco Classico is an unoaked and equal blend of Roupeiro and Antão Vaz from Vidigueira. For a workhorse wine at this low price point, this is an attractive purchase. Yes, all the typical caveats for the price point are applicable: it needs to be drunk young and fresh. It is notably fruity and quite tasty, yet still reasonably crisp and fresh. A great introduction to the fantastic line up.
Paulo Laureano Classico Red (Aragones, Trincadeira, Alfrocheiro) 2014 $14.95
The Clássico red is a blend of 40% each of Aragonez and Trincadeira with 20% Alfrocheiro added in. About 10% of the blend was oak-aged in second-use French barriques for 8 months. At the price, this entry-level red has provided some notable value. So, too, here. The grape blend gives it some character and distinctive flavors. There is a bit of structure evident, too. For all of that, it becomes what you might expect – a juicy, young wine with fruit-forward appeal. Yet, it often feels full in the mouth relative to the price level and it finishes with juicy fruit and a ton of flavor. I have to lean up a bit on this – as I’ve tended to – because it is just so darned charming and invigorating.
PL Premium Vinhas Velhas White Alentejo (Arinto, Antão Vaz e Fernão Pires ) 2014 $18.95
The Branco Premium Vinhas Velhas is a blend of 50% Antão Vaz, 40% Arinto and 10% Fernão Pires from the winery’s oldest white vines (40 years). Only the Antão Vaz saw oak–four months in new Seguin Moreau with the Aquaflex toast. It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. This is a special wine. The acidity seems higher and the wine seems a bit more penetrating and focused. It handles its oak well and the acidity easily cuts through it. The wine shows grip and tension on the finish. Overall, this is another nice Branco bargain from Laureano. It is my favorite of the group, although by a small margin.
PL Premium Vinhas Velhas Red Alentejo (Aragones, Trincadeira, Alicate Bouschet) 2014 $18.95
The Tinto Premium Vinhas Velhas (40 years) is a blend of 40% Aragonez, 30% Trincadeira and 30% Alicante Bouschet, aged in French oak for 12 months (40% new, the rest second year; all the Aragonez saw used oak). Nicely focused, this modestly priced wine delivers elegance and a real-wine feel for not much money. There is grip on the finish, which also shows nice flavor, including some complexity of flavor. Beefy and a bit herbal, there are touches of oak as well. It is charming, though, because of its relatively lifted feel. It’s a nice value overall.
Paulo Laureano Reserve White DOC Alentejo (100% Barrel Fermented Antão Vaz) 2014 $21.95
The Reserve is all Antão Vaz, fermented and aged four months in new, 300-liter French oak barrels with the Aquaflex toast by Seguin Moreau (said to be specially for whites). It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. Although the statistics on this are quite similar to the winery’s “Ema’s Vineyard” bottling also reviewed this issue, this seems to handle its oak as well or even better, even though all of it was oak-aged. It is showing nice purity of fruit and a reasonably clean finish.
PL Reserve Red DOC Alentejo (Aragones, Trincadeira e Alicate Bouschet) 2014 $22.95
The reserve is 40% Alicante Bouschet and 30% each of Aragonez and Trincadeira. Rather well marked with oak at the moment, I think this will integrate pretty well. It has underlying power and a reasonable backbone. It is also simply delicious, a fine statement for what people often like about Alentejo, while providing some seriousness and structure. There is an earthy, herbal undertone-probably the Trincadeira asserting itself-that provides some character and complexity. It is hard to resist. It could use a little more time in the cellar, as it becomes quite powerful with air.
Paulo Laureano Selectio DOC Vidigueira Alentejo (100% very rare Tinta Grossa) 2012 $45.96
The Tinta Grossa Selectio it comes in at 14% alcohol and was aged in a mixture of second and third use, 300-liter French oak barrels for one year. Elegant in the mid-palate with plum, black berries and christmas cake. Showing some grip and pop on the finish after the smooth, creamy beginning. When it smooths out in terms of tannins, a bit of creamy texture and some oak overlay remains. It tastes great and drinks well.
Curral de Atlantis Farias Vineyards White (Verdelho, Arinto, Malvasia) 2015 $18.95
A stunning collection from the Volcanic Island of Pico. This white blend shows big fruit, bracing acidity. A fantastic introductions to the Islands terroir.
Curral de Atlantis Farias Vineyards Rosé (Merlot Cabernet) 2015 $18.95
A stunning collection from the Volcanic Island of Pico. A classic style, direct press rose that is packed with red berry and citrus fruits. Clean, classy and extremely gastronomic.
Curral de Atlantis Farias Vineyards Red (Merlot Cabernet) 2014 $18.95
A stunning collection from the Volcanic Island of Pico. Very fresh and focused with spice, herbs and a smokey raspberry tang.
Curral de Atlantis Verdelho and Arinto 2015 $29.95
Beautiful grip with fresh fruits, citrus and minerality. Super focused with lazer beam like acidity.
Verdelho on the Island is actually the same as Godello on the main land…
Curral de Atlantis Arinto 2015 $29.95
Such an amazing grape, this Arinto is dry, crips and clean with nice focus and concentration. Fresh fruits and smokey – salty citrus fruits dominate the nose and palate.
Curral de Atlantis Verdelho 2015 $34.95
This is some serious stuff. Spring flowers, more smoke, salt and citrus. Extremely charming and very gastronomic. Drink with food. (Grilled Seafood)
Curral de Atlantis Rosé corral Atlantis 2015 $21.95
A beautiful rose from the Island of Pico. Like a volcano erupted with berries, herbs and spices. This is a big step up from the Farias Rose for just a few dollars.
Curral de Atlantis Merlot – Cabernet 2014 $21.95
This is a beautiful cask aged Merlot-Cab. Medium bodied and very restrained. Classic Bordeaux aromatics and palate with ripe Tannins and an elegant demeanour. Very cool juice (its going to be a house favourite)
Curral de Atlantis Nectar of Currais (late harvest, bottle 0.500) 2006 $59.95
A special dessert wine that has seen some generous oxidation. Think Sauterne meet Madeira.
We will let you discover the rest.
Paulo Laureano Vinus, Lda.
A Family Estate in the one of the oldest wine regions of Alentejo (Vidigueira). A remote place to make wine with a long wine making tradition and a special place in the Alentejo AOC. An ancient geological fault marks the division between the high and the low Alentejo and Vidigueira is the southernmost sub region in the AOC. A fifty kilometre long escarpment, running from east to west, determines the local climate which, despite is southern latitude, is one of the most temperate in the Alentejo. Wine production started in Vidigueira when the Romans occupied the area leaving behind a profound influence on agriculture and viticulture that persists to this day. In S. Cucufate there can still be seen the amphoras used by these ancient winemakers.
In the old world Portugal has one of the most numerous and varied stocks of indigenous varieties. From north to south there are innumerable place specific varieties each one specifically adapted to its own terroir. Our combination of local varieties within our special terroir gives us the opportunity to create wines with a clear identity and a true point of difference in the world of wine. We believe in the quality of each variety, each with its own colour, flavour and aroma and that by combining these to the best of our ability we can create wonderful wines – exclusively from Portuguese grapes.
Paulo Laureano is one of the leading winemakers in Portugal and his passion for wine led him, with his family, to build the current business based on 110 hectares of vines in Vidigueria with a further 10 planted in Evora some 50 Km to the north. All the wines are made in the winery in Vidigueira. The vineyards are planted on schist soils, imparting a pleasing mineral aspect to the final blends and are on average 25 to 30 years old. The stand out varieties are Tinta Grossa, Antão Vaz, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet.
Whether producing wines for everyday drinking or limited editions made from rare local varieties, Paulo seeks to draw out the distinctive terroir of the vineyards and to allow the different grapes to fully develop their personality.
Nicholas Pearce Wines is a Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.