Casa Santos Lima - Companhia das Vinhas, SA

Quinta da Boavista - Aldeia Galega da Merceana

Código Postal: 2580 - 081 ALDEIA GALEGA DA MERCEANA

Telef.: (+351) 263 760 621 ou (+351) 263 769 093

Fax: (+351) 263 760 621

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.casasantoslima.com

GPS: 39° 4'12.01'' N  |  9º 7'1.13'' W

Casa Santos Lima is a large company with a focus on high volume wines intent on delivering value for money. For the most part, Santos Lima deliver on that intent. Overall, the wines are very clean and correct, with good pure fruit styles and crisp acidity.

Quinta da Boavista is the company’s main estate, which stretches over 210 hectares of very hilly country. Bounded by the Altantic to the west, mountains to north and Tagus inland vineyards face a variety of directions with rows running up and down, rather than across hills.  Soils are mostly limestone or clay or a mixture. Between its wide varieity of expositions and soil mixes, some grapes have a 3 week ripening window from end of the estate to the other

Casa Santa Lima are almost a universe unto themselves. Their massive vineyard holdings stretch across 210 hectares of limestone and clay covered hills, planted with a wide variety of grapes. Primarily focused on local reds and whites, there is an active program to explore the potential of other regional Portuguese and international grapes in their terroir. Bounded by the Atlantic, northern mountains and the Tagus river inland, this diverse range of climatic influences allows the same grape grown on one spot to ripen three weeks later in another. Intent on milking the last drop of sunlight out of the sky, vines run up and down some hills and across others, maximizing every nook and cranny for its ripening potential. The resultant patchwork of vineyards is strikingly visual.  

The company’s strategy is to produce high volumes of value for money wine. I found all the whites very clean and correct with relatively pure fruit styles. Similarly, the reds were all generously fruited (surprising given how close they are to the Atlantic) and well balanced with excellent, firm acidity. Oaking, where it occurs, is generally light handed. Prices, generally speaking, more than matched quality

Although around 80% of vineyards are planted in whites, the estate contains some of the oldest and most interesting red varieties in the Lisboa region. These include 2 hectares of 50 year old vine Preta Martina: the largest holding of this rare grape in Portugal. Other traditional regional reds include old vine Tinta Miuda, old clones of Castelao and old Trincadeira vines.  Although mostly focused on national grapes, the vineyards also contain French grapes.

One of the great delights at Santa Lima was an opportunity to taste my first bottle of Preta Martino. This reminded me much more of Pinot Noir, than most of the real Pinot Noir I’ve tasted from Portugal. Yet another under explored Portuguese grape that needs to be taken more seriously?

Overall the wines have excellent acidity and are savvy, well made commercial lines that are balanced, clean and driven by fruit instead of residual sugar.

My favorite wines include: Casa Santa Lima Viosinho 2012, Casa Santa Lima Viognier 2012, Quita Seten Costas, Quinta do Espirito Reserve, Casa Santos Lima Castelao 2007, Santos Lima Camarate 2008, Casa Santos Lima Touriga Nacional 2009. The most interesting Santos Lima wines I’ve tasted are Touriz 2008 and Preta Martino 1997.