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Hugo Mendes - 2021 - Underdog Talha Tinto

Sale price€25,99

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This red wine is a journey into Alentejo's rich history, crafted using typical local grapes and the ancient technique of amphorae fermentation. The tradition kept alive in Vila Alva near Vidigueira involves hand-picked grapes that are destemmed before entering the clay amphorae. Here, wild yeasts take over in spontaneous fermentation without temperature control. The wine remains in contact with the grape solids, called "masses," until the end of February, extracting depth of flavor. Finally, the wine is bottled without filtration or stabilization, preserving its rustic and traditional character. This collaboration with Ricardo Santos of "Mestre Daniel/XXVI Talhas" results in a vibrant red. Expect aromas of pomegranate, macerated cherries, and even hints of raw cocoa. The palate showcases remarkable freshness thanks to lively acidity, while soft tannins provide a smooth structure for the flavors to linger.

Hugo Mendes - 2021 - Underdog Talha Tinto
Hugo Mendes - 2021 - Underdog Talha Tinto Sale price€25,99

Learn more about

Hugo Mendes

Hugo Mendes' path took an unexpected turn. Though he received a degree in Biotechnological Engineering in 2005, his true passion was wine. That same year, he began working at Quinta da Murta in Portugal's Bucelas region, quickly rising from cellar worker to Head Winemaker by 2010. Throughout this time, his love for wine deepened, and he established himself as "The Wizard Apprentice" through a popular blog dedicated to simplifying winemaking for enthusiasts.

By 2016, Hugo craved the freedom to explore other local grape varietals. He launched a pioneering crowdfunding campaign for wine production in Portugal, the first of its kind. This approach, which he called "patrons," allowed consumers to pre-purchase his wine at a discounted price, essentially financing his independent venture. This successful endeavor became a way to challenge the notion that winemaking required significant upfront capital.

Leaving Quinta da Murta in 2019, Hugo dedicated himself fully to his own label. He focuses on lesser-known Portuguese grapes, working his magic on traditional Lisboa varieties like Fernão Pires, Vital, and Arinto. His exploration extends beyond Lisboa, where he champions Castelão in Tejo and has even collaborated with XXVI Talhas to produce a unique Alentejo talha wine under his "Underdog" label.