The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition article on Portuguese whites (see blue link below).
Vale da Capucha Branco Blend 2015 - June 2018 Decanter review
The Marques family and their estate, Vale da Capucha, represent the viticultural renaissance that the Lisboa DO has experienced over the last decade. Having grown fruit for bulk wine production for a few generations, they realised that their heritage and terroir was something worth expressing. While their adjacent neighbors routinely turn out yields in excess of 25 tons per hectare, Vale do Capucha has trimmed theirs to under 6.
Only 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Lisbon, Vale do Capucha is a property whose wines speak to the presence and proximity of the ocean. Winemaker Pedro Marques has taken the reins of the estate from his family, replanted it entirely with indigenous varieties, and has set about expressing a singular message of terroir. Pedro follows the ethos that 'great wine is made in the vineyard'. The precept is simple: maximum human work in the vineyard and minimum intervention in the winery. The resulting terroir-driven wines come from a medley of Portuguese varieties.
Capucha refers to the ancient Roman military road that led from Lisbon to Santarai, and both fossilized seashells and ancient Roman artifacts are consistently unearthed on the property, situated on a 400 million year-old thread of Kimmeridgian limestone. With minimal interventionist winemaking, Marques manages to clearly express the minerality and salinity of these ocean-inflected vineyards.
This is a blend dominated by the indigenous variety of Fernao Pires, a grape that possesses of terrific structure and aromatics and demonstrates the minerality of this maritime terroir wonderfully well. Intensity and purity of fruit and mineral character are the hallmarks of Capucha Branco.
80% Fernao Pires, 20% Arinto from organically-grown (certified thus) vines planted in 1996.
Innoculated fermentation with native yeast strains in stainless steel, cold stabilization. Aged on the lees for 8 months in stainless steel. Unfiltered and unfined.
Exotic tropical and stone fruit, mixed with spice tones, anise, paperwhites and dusty mineral. Unmistakeable sea spray aromas. On the palate, fleshy stone fruit gives way to an intensely mineral backbone with chalk and sea salt providing balance and length.
This wine is suitable for vegans.