I first visited Alentejo winery
Malhadinha Nova in 2004, and was
impressed by this (then) new project. The vineyards were planted
by the Soares family in 2000, and the first wines released in 2003.
I went back in July 2011 to see how things had progressed.
The hotel at Malhadinha
most obvious change since the first visit is the presence of a
boutique hotel, and also a top quality restaurant. This is a
fabulous place to visit if you want to get away from things. Based
in Beja. in the south of the Alentejo region - as close to Faro
aiport as it is to Lisbon - Malhadinha Nova enjoys a pretty warm
climate. Despite this, the wines have retained a lot of freshness.
Winemaking consultant Luis Duarte,
resident winemaker Rui Lopes, and Rita and Joao Soares
Monte da Peceguina Branco 2010
Alentejo, Portugal 12.5% alcohol (the lowest ever for this wine). A blend with Antão
Vaz dominant. Fresh and a bit pithy with lively acidity and lovely
focused fruit. Pure with white peach and pear fruit. Nice purity.
Malhadinha Nova Antão Vaz
2010 Alentejo, Portugal Unoaked. Lively, fruity, fresh and pithy with nice acidity and
focused apple and pear fruit. Very nice. 90/100
Malhadinha Nova Branco 2010 Alentejo,
Portugal 65% Arinto with a bit of Viognier and the balance Chardonnay. 9
months in 50% new oak. Focused toasty nose is fine and fresh with
notes of peach and pear. Lovely balance. The palate is fresh and
lively with bright fruit and good acidity, as well as a spicy oak
sheen. Lovely integration. 92/100
Monte da Peceguina Tinto 2009 Alentejo,
Portugal A blend of quite a few varieties aged in older French oak. Nice,
berryish and supple showing lovely fresh fruit. Just a hint of oak.
Deliciously supple and bright. 89/100
From 2008, 2000 bottles of each variety
have been bottled separately, to produce a limited edition set sold
in a box. This won’t happen every year, though. This is the first
release, consisting of four wines.
Touriga Nacional da Peceguina 2008
Alentejo, Portugal Aromatic, lively and bright with notes of tar and herbs. Very
sweetly fruited yet fresh. Focused ripe palate is sweet and spicy
with firm tannins and some distinctive spicy freshness. Tannic
Cabernet da Peceguina 2008 Alentejo,
Portugal Nice ripe berry and blackcurrant fruit with a subtle, attractive
green herbal edge. Supple, ripe and smooth with berry and
blackcurrant fruit on the palate. Nicely structured. 92/100
Alicante Bouschet da Peceguina 2008
Alentejo, Portugal Robust ripe, spicy berry fruits nose is very lively. The palate
is dense and sweet with rich body and texture. Ripe and spicy.
Nicely robust. 92/100
Aragonês da Peceguina 2008 Alentejo, Portugal Ripe and berryish with some spicy notes. Nicely judged with good
structure and definition. 91/100
Malhadinha Nova Pequeno João 2008
Alentejo, Portugal Mostly Syrah and Touriga Nacional. Lovely definition here with a
nose of ripe berry fruits. Sweet and lush on the palate but nicely
defined with finesse and freshness to the berry fruits. Subtle green
herby edge. Very attractive. 94/100
Malhadinha Nova Tinto 2008 Alentejo,
Portugal A blend of five varieties. Lovely freshness: bright with nice
definition and texture to the lively cherry and berry fruits. An
elegant style with some structure to the pure fruit. 94/100
Malhadinha Nova Marais da Malhadinha
2007 Alentejo, Portugal The second release of the top wine, the other being the 2004.
6000 bottles, 26 months ageing in new French oak. Ripe, spicy and
warm with nice density of fruit. Quite elegant despite the power,
whoing nice tannins. A warm, rich style with good complexity and
lots going on. 94/100