Da Cruz e Teles &

Da Cruz e Teles 'COZs' vm-Castelao 2021

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Press 4 Red • April 2024 Direct Press Selection

The COZ project is a partnership of Tiago Teles of Gilda and RAIZ and Antonio Marques da Cruz of Serradinha (featured in November's Direct Press, he puts ladybugs on the corks). They joined forces in order to work the land of one of their winemaking heroes, Jose Mendonça of Quinta dos Cozinheiros, who passed away tragically. The name COZ is taken from his winery. After a few vintages they acquired some more parcels in the Montejunto mountain range, a protected natural reserve less than 10 miles from the ocean that is dotted sporadically with vineyards. 

What I like so much about their project is that they are making natural wines for all intents and purposes, but stylistically they are not afraid to have plenty of texture and tannin. The wines transcend any easy category, and truly fulfill their intent of making wines expressive of their place. They are truly distinct, speak with a real voice, and yet are so satiating and comforting. Tiago and Antonio say there is an Italian influence, and that makes sense to me with the interplay of acids and tannin. 

This wine is 100% Castelao from the Montejunto mountains, planted on limestone. Fermented whole cluster in 1000L dornas and aged 11 months in Burgundy barrels. Super lively and vibrant, with cherry, seaweed, and cranberry lift. Crunchy tannins, puckery acids, and a smoky, feral umami. An exciting and yummy wine that speaks to it's coastal Lisbon origins with soul and originality. Jonathan Kemp

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