Menina d'Uva  -- 2021 Vinho Tinto -- 70% (Bastardo and Negreda) and 30% (Malvasia, Bastardo Blanco, Formosa)

Menina d'Uva -- 2021 Vinho Tinto -- 70% (Bastardo and Negreda) and 30% (Malvasia, Bastardo Blanco, Formosa)

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Aline Domingues is a Parisienne daughter of Portuguese immigrants who, after obtaining masters degrees in Molecular Biology, Fermentation Science and Quality Health Safety Environment (workplace management) at the University of Paris, fell in love with wine and eventually decided to return to her family’s hometown of Uva in 2017 to try working with her grandfather’s grapes. The success of that wine begat Menina d’Uva (Girl from Uva) a winery working with indigenous varietals from ancient vines. Uva is located in the Tras-os-Montes (behind the mountains) wine region in the Northeastern corner of Portugal pressing up against the borders with Spain. Now largely depopulated, many of the vineyards Aline works organically with were previously abandoned. Bastardo (also known as Trousseau, originally from Jura, France, but which has been grown in Northern Portugal and Spain for hundreds of years) and Negreda (also known as Mouraton in Galicia) compose 70% percent of the ‘Ciste’ (a local plant) blend, while the remainder of the grapes are local whites. The grapes begin whole bunch fermentation together but are foot trodden after four days in order to achieve good fruit and floral extraction without allowing carbonic characteristics to overwhelm the wine and are aged exclusively in stainless steel to maintain freshness. The textures in the wine are like a cross between satin and velvet and the flavors of fresh flowers, concentrated strawberry juice, pomegranate, cherry and kirsch, persimmon and black pepper make it seem as if the bottle has sprung a leak because it disappears so quickly! Delightful all on its own with a good chill or with intensely spiced vegetable dishes like veggie korma, or other vegetable-centric Asian foods.