Friends, family, villagers, workers all come together to finish the harvest together. Music.....

Lagar de Darei

3530 – Mangualde
Telephone: (+351) 232 613 200
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Webpage: www.casadedarei.pt

I have to declare a fondness for this producer because I had the pleasure of trodding grapes in Darei’s lagar a few years back. The party that accompanied this activity is easily one of the greatest memories I have of wine in my career as a journalist. 

and a little wine are essential. Lagar de Darei’s is a project driven by Jose Cunha with help from his son Carlos. The project has been two fold, including the renovation of a grand old house into an agro-tourism hotel and renovation of its winery to work estate’s vineyards.

Jose revitalized an older vineyard sited along the village’s waterway, adding to this two organically farmed vineyards on terraces at higher elevations. Grapes have remained faithful to what’s worked best locally for centuries: reds, Alfrocheiro, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Jaen and whites, Encruzado, Bical and Arinto.

But when the party's over, wine gets made by the experienced worker. After having invested years and considerable expense to get organic certification, Jose withdrew from the program because an inspector—obviously more interested in documents--refused to visit his vineyards. He tossed the inspector off the farm. Given how modest and mild mannered I know Jose to be, I admire and respect him for taking such a bold stand against bureaucracy’s blindness to common sense and an obvious devotion to good farming practices. Regardless of not having an official stamp of approval to prove it, Darei still continue to farm organically and care for their land as best they can.   

In describing Darei’s wine styles, the first words that come to mind are: understated, elegant, pure, purposeful and perfumed. They are the essence of what small, family produced Dao wine is all about.

 

 

 

Lagar de Darei Colheita 2010 13% This great little food wine is this a blend of Bical, Sercial and Malvasia Fina. It offers citrus tinged mineral aromas and flavors, nice concentration and crisp, firm citrus acidity on finish. Priced at 3eu locally. Tasted 10.2012

Lagar de Darei Colheita 2009 13% This blend of Alfrocheiro and Touriga Nacional, Jaen and Roriz has enticingly fresh, spicy, red fruit aromas and juicy red cherry fruit flavors. Offering great purity, focus and refreshing acidity, it is a very well made authentic Dao style for a sharp price 3eu locally Tasted 10.2012

Lagar de Darei Grande Escholha 2007 13% This, rarely made, Grand Reserva is made of 55% Touriga Nacional and 45% Roriz. It offers up lovely, delicately perfumed red fruit and violet aromas, concentrated cherry flavor underpinned with firm, but fine tannins. Beautifully focused, persistent and linear, it is conforms to Darei’s usual elegant style. Tasted 10.2012

Lagar de Darei Reserva 2007 13% Primarily made from Alfrocheiro and Touriga Nacional, with  Jaen, Roriz, and Tinta in support, this femininely-styled red displays spicy, open knit, red fruit aromas and succulent, red fruits in mouth. It is a really lovely glass of wine, full of poise and purity, lightness and freshness, contained focused linearity. 8eu Tasted 10.2012

Lagar de Darei Rose 2010 This blend of Alfrocheiro and Touriga Nacional, Jaen and Roriz spends 12-18 hours in lagars then is pressed off as rose. An aromatically lifted mix of fresh red fruit and milk notes, it offers a lovely, plush mouthfeel with soft acidity and superb melt-away finish. One of Dao’s best roses, this vintage has lower acidity than 2009. Locally 3.5eu Tasted 10.2012