Antonio Madeira Vinhas Velhas Tinto is an organic field blend of some 20 grape varieties with leading roles from Jaen (Mencía), Baga, Tinta Amarela, and Negro Mouro. Hand-harvested on granite from a selection of old vines planted between 1919 and 1969. Spontaneous fermentation in open-top upright wooden vats. Racked to used 225L barrels for 18 months then tank for another three. Bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur.
António Madeira is deeply dedicated to the Dão—his adopted homeland in north-central Portugal—and has set out to identify and classify its “grand cru” vineyards while preserving ancient vines. Parisian of Portuguese descent, Antonio has family roots in the Serra da Estrela, mainland Portugal’s highest mountain. In 2011, he produced his first wines after discovering a 50-year-old vineyard in the foothills. He quickly realized he’d stumbled upon gold in the Dão: old vines of native varietals such as Tinta Pinheira, Negro Mouro, Tinta Amarela, and Baga; free-draining granite soils; and excellent sun exposures—all combine to make magical wines. Today, he works with small plots in six different villages and farms organically and manually. All of his wines are co-fermented field blends, using indigenous yeast and very little sulfur. If there’s a throughline in his wines it’d be a touch of salinity and ample freshness, with an earthy quality like the first moments after it rains.