One of the famous old table wines of Portugal is Pera Manca, which is made by the Cartuxa winery, near Évora in the AlentejoThis celebrated wine, which now comes in both red and white, wasn’t featured in this tasting, which instead focused on the other wines in the Cartuxa line-up.
The winery is now run by a charitable foundation named after the family who developed Cartuxa into its current form: the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, which was created in 1963.
This is a big operation, with 600 hectares of vines spread across five estates (Pinheiros, Casito, Álamo de Cima, Álamo da Horta and Quinta de Valbom). This may be a traditional winery, but the current line-up tastes very contemporary indeed, in the best possible way.
Cartuxa Geno Branco 2020
Fresh and textured with nice pear and citrus fruit. Simple, with nice balance. 86/100
Cartuxa Foral d’Evora Branco 2020
Fresh and focused with nice weight and some stoniness, showing a mineral edge to the pear and citrus fruit, with good purity. 89/100
Cartuxa Colheita Branco 2020
A blend of Arinto and Antão Vaz. Linear, stony and fresh with a touch of liqourice. Lovely fruit here. Quite stony and focused. Layered citrus fruits. 92/100
Cartuxa Curtimento Branco 2016
The next vintage to be released of this wine will have been raised in Talha (clay vessels). This spends 25 days on skins in stainless steel. Textured, stony and pure with lovely pear and yellow plum fruit as well as some spice, liqourice and dried herbs. Very stylish and balanced with a bit of structure. 93/100
Cartuxa Geno Tinto 2019
Very floral and exotic with lovely exuberant red cherry and berry fruits. The palate is juicy and bright with amazing fruit purity. So pretty and focused. 90/100
Cartuxa Floral d’Evora Tinto 2018
Floral, expressive nose. Bright with a juicy edge to the sweet cherry and plum fruit. Supple, fresh, pure and vivid on the palate with nice focus: this is generous but also very expressive. 90/100
Cartuxa Colheita Tinto 2018
This has a floral, expressive nose that is bright and vivid with lovely red cherry and raspberry fruit. There’s a touch of redcurrant, too. The palate is ripe and textured with nice fleshiness and a grainy structure. Substantial but still very fresh, displaying ripe berry fruits. 93/100
Cartuxa Vinha de Talha Tinto 2018
14.5% alcohol. This is 100% Alicante Bouschet. Fresh, rounded and stony. Mineral, with lovely vivid black cherry and plum fruit, with nice grainy structure. Quite ripe, but showing really nice weight, with an emphasis on the fruit. 93/100
Cartuxa Reserva 2016
15 months in French oak. Ripe and sleek but nicely structured with smooth textured black cherry and blackberry fruit. Lovely concentration and weight here: stylish with sweet fruit and its core. 94/100
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