Quinta da Murta-Bucelas: A name
Bucelas, called the prince of Portuguese wine, is the most famous dry white wine of Portugal, where Arinto variety of grapes has been cultivated and developed by the Romans for more than 2 000 years.
It was in fact the only white wine in Portugal during many centuries, the wines of discovers (because you could keep long time), the wine of Portuguese kings, the wines of the British royal court.
Portuguese sailors of the Vasco de Gama’s flagship Sao Gabriel celebrated their return to Portugal after having discovered the sea route to the Indies by enjoying Bucelas wine.
During Shakespeare time, Bucelas wine became very popular with the British royal court as well throughout England.
The wine called ”charneco”, named after a small village in Bucelas, is mentioned in Sharkespeare’s Henry the VI play, part 2, writen in 1594.
The Duke of Wellington spent most of his time during the Peninsular war in Bucelas, from where he used to offer Bucelas wine to king George III on his visits to England, to be used by the king as daily medicinal wine.
Quinta da Murta, an estate, located in the hills of the very small demarcated region of Bucelas, is surrounded by one of the main Roman road crossing Portugal and next to the last northern Anglo-Portuguese fortification against the troops of Napoleon.
Myrtle, or Murta in Portuguese, is the most sacred aromatic plant in the Judeo-Christian culture, it is also the Venus of all berries, the goddess beauty for the ancient Greek.
A Unique Terroir
A unique terroir made of limestone and marl, a hillside facing south-east under the influence of the atlantic ocean, for a very fine fresh wine.
Quinta da Murta, tucked away in gentle chalky hills of Bucelas region, is located 25 km North East Lisbon, in the Basin Lusitanica dating from upper Jurassic, lower Tithonian (Portlandian).
The Soil is formed of calcareous marl, crystalline limestone with numerous presence of fossils trigonia, ostrea and various bivalves such as buchotrigonia freixialensis and the foraminifer anchispirocyclina lusitanica.
All contribute to a very fine mineralite with shell note, roundness and suppleness of the wine.
The vineyards are all planted on high slope, south and south-east exposition, at 250 meters altitude, protected from Atlantic westerlies winds by a ridge of hills.
The area enjoys a very specific micro-climate, relatively cool and humid in winter and during the nights, warm and dry during summer. All contribute to a perfect grape ripening but keeping the freshness of the Atlantic ocean.
A Unique Cepage
Arinto : a unique aromatic cepage
Arinto is a unique cepage whose origin is Bucelas, Portugal.
It grows in medium-sized bunches, tightly packed with small grapes.
The characteristics of the taste of Arinto are intense yet discret, aromatic, citrus, apple and tropical with stylish texture and firmness. It finishes long with rewarding flavors.
Characterized by its lively high acidity and freshness, even in hot climate, giving a great vibrant white and sparkling wine full of character capable for long guard, but also delicious young.
Arinto develops with age a bouquet of lemon and vanilla softwood.
Grapes become greatest in its natural terroir Bucelas.
A Traditional Viticulture
A traditional viticulture privileging biodynamic
Before the plantation of the vineyard, more than 20 years ago, the limestone soil was occupied by bushes with myrtle berries. Soil has been scrambled 2 meters deep, cow and horse manure was spread and pass with chisel to bury the fertilizer and regularize the soil for plantation.
The vineyard is planted with a relative low density of 4000 plants/ha, traditionally cultivated in a protected and isolated area and total biodiversity in flora and fauna, twice pruned during winter and spring time in bilateral Royat cordon.
Mineral fertilization and drop irrigation are minimized to their lowest level and an integrated pest management system is strictly observed, sustainable viticulture certified, we are privileging always biodynamic, allowing to harvest high quality and aromatic grape at a low yield of 6t/ha.
The vineyard is renewed with excellence on yearly basis, to be conducted on Guyot bilateral cordon. Lusitania Horse manure is now applied between rows of the whole vineyard, both to enhance health of the vines and quality of the grapes.
All contributes to make the best wine of DOC Bucelas.
A Specific Wine Making
A very specific wine making and maturation for revealing fruit, fresh aromas and flavours.
Manual harvest is handled in small case of 25kg at the best maturation period for acidity, sugar, and aromas, followed by a delicate sorting of the grapes avoiding rotten or green ones, then by a gentle destalking and crushing.
- For both premium and fine white wines Quinta da MURTA and MURTA wines, a special skin maceration, controlled at low temperature, revealing all aromas and flavor of Arinto, a gentle pressing and filtration, then a cool fermentation occurs with indigeneous yeast, followed by a maturation on full lees during 4 to 6 months with batonnage providing freshness and creamness to the wine, then naturally stabilized at 4 degrees temperature without chemicals.
- For white classico, grapes come from the most warm vine plots including some late harvest, the fermentation with indigeneous yeast and a maturation occur in wooden French oak barrels on full lees with a smooth and weekly batonnage during 12 months for greater complexity and depth of flavor, making great white “vin de garde” able to enjoy the wine up to 15 years later.
- For red wine, it is elaborated exclusively from the most selected variety of grapes Touriga Nacional and Syrah. A cool maceration at 12C followed at 24-26C occur separately per grape variety, then a gentle pressing, a malolactic fermentation and a long maturation happen in French oak barrels during at least one year.
- For white Brut nature or Rose Extra Brut, grapes come from the freshest area of the property, harvested early morning, the fermentation occurs in small stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. Strict traditional “methode champenoise” apply with manual degorgement elapsed after a period of 12 months probation for Rose and 36 months probation for white.
- All bottling, labeling and packaging is entirely done at Quinta da Murta wine estate.