Last week Jamie interviewed Antonio Maçanita about his innovative Portuguese winery, FitaPreta, which makes elegant wines in the Alentejo region in the south of the country and is part of an exciting project making wine in the Azores Archipelago (which Jamie also reported on when he was there last spring). Maçanita is involved also in an eponymous label that he produces in partnership with his sister, Joana.
Joana Maçanita is an active wine consultant in the Douro region of Northern Portugal. The Douro River Valley is best known as the home of Port, but the grapes grown there are increasingly being used for dry table wines. As proud as Antonio is of his home region in the south, when Joana explained to him that she had found some Douro vineyards that produced grapes perfectly suited to the Maçanita family style of fruit forward, food friendly wines, he knew they had to collaborate and the ‘Maçanita‘ wine label was born. Or, so he explained to me at a recent tasting.
All of this turns out to be good news for wine drinkers in Ontario. The LCBO Vintages is stalking the 2012 Maçanita Tinto (or ‘Red’) at $18.95 a bottle. (Click here to check for inventory at a store near you.) This is a well made and beautifully balanced wine that could easily compete and compare favourably with wines twice or more the price. It’s a blend of the two main Port grapes: Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo in Spain, where it’s most famously made into Rioja). Unlike many TN and TR blends, it doesn’t come across as a sort of dry version of Port. Nor, despite the high alcohol level of 14.5% is it ‘hot’. The Maçanita Tinto is, instead, relatively light on the palate with bold black fruit on the palate and a surprisingly floral (geranium) character on the nose. Try it. If you like it, as I imagine most wine drinkers will, go back and stock up on a few bottles. It’s a crowd pleaser and the perfect fall dinner party wine, ready to match with red meats and rich stews.
Full disclosure: Maçanita wines are imported to Ontario by the Le Sommelier agency, who are Good Food Fighters. As always, we actively encourage GFR readers to support Good Food Fighter businesses and organizations, since they support us.