In a country steeped in winemaking history, the name Mouchao is synonymous with wines of distinction. The family-owned estate has been producing wine for over a hundred years and maintains the traditions established in 1901 when the winery was built. The distinctive character of Mouchão wines derives from three principal characteristics: the Alicante Bouschet grape, the specific terroir, and adherence to traditional winemaking methods. In the vineyards, modern techniques, such as spray irrigation to ensure frost protection, are employed, whilst in the winery, traditional techniques are adhered to – the grapes are received in large open Lagares where they are hand crushed and delivered down chutes to be foot trodden in marble cement lining Lagares. Foot-treading is done twice a day for a period of 5 to 8 days, this encourages fermentation and optimum colour extraction. The wine is then racked off into wooden vats and barrels for secondary fermentation. Mouchao Tinto, the estate’s main wine, is predominantly Alicante Bouschet, 80% or more, the rest being Trincadeira (perhaps more famously known as Tinta Amarela in the Douro, where it is used in Port production). It is aged for 24 months in large oak vats (known as foudres) and then aged for a further 24 to 36 months in the bottle prior to release for sale.
Production here is small and Iain Richardson, who runs the estate, is unable to meet the majority of orders he receives for his extraordinary wine. Mouchão wines are renowned for their longevity, maturing subtly as they age. This 2013 Herdade Do Mouchão, Mouchao red is a wine with an intense garnet colour and aromas of black fruit jam, ripe olives, mint, and spices. Its structure is distinct, possessing a clear freshness and a set of solid and exuberant tannins that guarantee its longevity. Mouchao Tinto (red) is the flagship wine from historic Alentejo wine estate of Herdade do Mouchao.