Casal do Ramilo Arinto 2017
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Direct Press Selection | May 2022
[PRESS 4 MIX • PRESS 4 WHITE]
Ramilo is an example of a younger generation going back to the land. Brothers Nuno and Pedro Ramilo left their comfortable office jobs to take over their family’s four-generation estate in 2013; they only agreed to it if they could do it their way, however. Now they have converted to organic farming and are replanted near-extinct varieties like Vital. They also hold the rare distinction of making one of the only estate-grown wines from Colares, likely the smallest wine DOC in the world, a unique appellation with vines planted on the beaches near Sintra. Closer to the town of Mafra, they also have vines planted on rugged limestone hills. All the wines are made in old granite lagars with an old handpress. Nuno is not as into the mystical side of natural winemaking but has seen the soils and the wines improve markedly since they converted to organics. In the cellar, he has also found that the wines require very little sulfur.
Their 100% Arinto from 2017 is striking and distinct. The ocean, barely 10 miles from the vines, lends a strong, salty note to the wines. Opulent, complex, and waxy, it has Chenin and Riesling vibes with sea breeze, spruce, and peppermint notes. This is a very impressive wine that rewards aging. The importer holds these back before release, so the 2017 is ready to drink now, but I’d be curious to stash some away for even longer to see how it develops. [Jonathan Kemp, March 2022]