Luis Carvalho brought his family together at the turn of the millenium to re-fashion a 200+ year old estate into a sleek and modern, white-wine focused producer. The family's property can be found about 40 minutes north of Lisbon, in the virtually unknown - even to the Portuguese - Alenquer DOC. A focus on single-varietal blends dominates at the estate with bottlings made from familiar varietals like Chardonnay, Marsanne and Viognier alongside the lesser known Arinto, which is indigenous to this region, and a crowd-pleasing white blend called 5a.
As with their other single varietal bottlings, fermentation of the Viognier occurs with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats - a move that preserves the freshness and acidity of the wine - while the final fermentation takes place in used oak barrels, for about 10 months.
Viognier at its best is aromatically pleasing with richness and body to accompany the fruity elements. The flavours are intense with ripe apricot, pineapple and a hint of lychee accompanying a dried flower characteristic. There's some citrus ahead of the persistent finish and enough acidity to compel a heavy pour into your glass.
Food pairing recommendations span rotisserie chicken to poached salmon to Indian takeout to a range of cheeses that includes delicate bries and punchy Comtés.