Monte da Ravasqueira – very unique wines from Alentejo

The Monte da Ravasqueira, very near to Arraiolos, is a project by the José de Mello family, that has been focusing for decades in developing a unique property, 3000 hectares of a rare and idyllic landscape in Alentejo.

Among hills, different levels and several dams, Monte da Ravasqueira has been transforming itself throughout the years.
From a property famous for horse breeding, fruit production, to the first vineyards in 1998 and to the revolution of its wines with the arrival of the young oenologist Pedro Pereira Gonçalves. Who has been innovating the company project since 2012, from wine tourism to the vineyard, precision viticulture, to the wines.

Pedro Pereira Gonçalves 

But on with what really matters, the wines and their tasting. The scenario couldn’t have been any better: a table at The Yeatman, along with signature food by Ricardo Costa (** Michelin).

After a series of well-accomplished snacks and a light, relaxed tasting of the simpler wines from Monte da Ravasqueira, we went to the table where the wines started flying to other levels.

MR Premium Rosé 2015

MR Premium Rosé 2015 – Clearly one of the most interesting Rosés in the country, made 100% of Touriga Nacional and undergoing a battonage phase and a stage in wood. A complex and sophisticated wine, showing that rosé can be more than a light wine for Summer moments. With a less intense aroma than the previous edition, it still had a beautiful fruitiness in contrast with some light smoky notes. It gains dimension, power, and exoticism in the mouth, with the minerality, freshness, and complexity of the light notes revealing a beautiful wine that asks for a table and food.

And it was so very well accompanied by a bolder and technical interpretation of the classic Caprese salad, where Ricardo Costa mixed the three classic ingredients in a series of Spanish avant-garde techniques. To that “molecular” experience followed an umami bomb, with a dish of cuttlefish, scarlet shrimp, whey and smoked eel. A dream!

Ravasqueira Family Reserve 2016 and MR Premium White 2014

Ravasqueira Family Reserve 2016 – A white with many awards, that despite the combination of Alvarinho with Viognier, results in a classic profile, with a stage in French oak, revealing some citrus and peach notes, while the mouth brings us complexity and richness.

MR Premium White 2014 – A great white, better when tasted at a slightly higher temperature than usual for white wines. A combo of the Viognier, Alvarinho, Arinto and Marsanne castes, with a stage in sur lies wood, resulting in a fresh and complex enough wine, with white fruits and citric notes, and a light touch of kerosene. It shows a fantastic acidity and a minerality that lasts through its entire long ending. A great Alentejo white!

 Two beautiful wines that accompanied very well the greasiness and richness of the chef’s proposal, a codfish, low-temperature egg, prosciutto, and coriander dish.

  Monte da Ravasqueira Vinha das Romãs 2014 and MR Premium 2014

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinha das Romãs 2014 – Where once existed pomegras, nowadays are Syrah and Touriga Franca strains, that combined result in an impressive wine, with a certain classic character, through a long stage in wood, allied to the freshness and lightness of a more modern wine. Great concentration of dark fruit, very ripe and clear, contrasting with the spices and vanilla notes of the wood. In the mouth it still reveals fruit, with freshness, acidity, and lightness, unusual for a wine that spent 20 months in recent wood. A strong wine, full of personality, living a great tasting phase, but with a good future in a cellar.

MR Premium 2014 – One of the most powerful wines of Alentejo, resulting from the Syrah, Aragonês, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca combo. MR Premium is one of those wines you want to keep for a long period of time, its immediate tasting promises an even greater future. A wine of great concentration, bringing to the nose a good complexity of aromas, from dark fruit to spices, forest aromas, and herbs. In the mouth, it’s clearly a wine of strong emotions, lots of fruit accompanied by great tannins and a rare finesse. A wine you should keep for a good amount of time.

Here the choice was consensual, Vinha das Romás, it’s readier for consumption, elegant and easy; harmonizing nicely with the suckling pig dishes.

Two suckling pig dishes according to Ricardo Costa 

Speaking of it, high score to the perfect roasting of the suckling pig, with a crystal crispy skin and juicy, tasty meat. And, if the combo of avocado and Mexican mole was good, the brothy rice with suckling pig and black truffle was simply delicious.

Pineapple, Green Tea and Pistachio 

Monte da Ravasqueira Late Harvest 2015 – Producing a Late Harvest in the Alentejo heat seems like a contradiction, but the result of precision viticulture combined with high winemaking techniques is somewhat modern and surprising. Inspired in an Ice Wine process, this 100% Viognier wine, lives and reflects the caste with its citrus and apricot notes, combined with syrup fruit and honey. It’s beautiful that this wine reveals a surprising and pleasant freshness besides its sweetness, showing the care to follow more modern trends.

A wine that went really well with the dessert, light and fresh, as I always like to finish my tastings.

After dinner was time to yet another nice surprise of  Monte da Ravasqueira, its liqueur wine.

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinho Licoroso  Alentejano 

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinho Licoroso Alentejano – An Alentejo liqueur wine of rare pleasure, inspired in a classic “Ruby” Port Wine, where it gets its main castes and in aguardente (distilled beverage). A fruit rich liqueur, with marked tannins, but very elegant and also a bit fresh, good for the tasting. A wine to drink right away, and keep the pretty bottle.

All in all, the Ravasqueira wines are booming and showcase one of the most interesting projects in Alentejo. Proving it’s possible for a big company to create distinguished, bold and different wines.

Monte da Ravasqueira

Versão Portuguesa

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