"The 2014 Branco Quinta de Foz de Arouce is all Cerceal, aged for seven months in mostly second use (90%) French barriques. The oak is showing far too much just now, but that will get better. Overall, this seems impressive. It has a full feel in the mouth. Its lush beginning is cut nicely by the lurking acidity which provides some lift and a bit of tension on the finish."
João Portugal Ramos make this wine at his father-in-law’s estate near Coimbra, from 12 acres of cerceal grown on schist soils (often confused, cerceal is a different variety from sercial). Fermented in small, mostly second-year barrels with seven months of less stirring, this needs decanting to show its best. It starts off yeasty, with austere oak tones, then brightens to scents of bee pollen and lemon peel, the sunny fruit refreshed by salinity. It feels racy, buzzing with intriguing flavors.
“This wood aged wine is ripe with perfumed fruits and an open, generous structure. It is full of ripe apricot and red apple flavors tightened with a mineral texture and acidity. The toast from the wood aging is a gentle theme in the background.”