Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wine of the Week - Herdade do Rocim Clay Aged Branco Alentejo

It seems like many of us may have a little more time on our hands and if you need something to read about other than COVID-19, we're here to give you a break from the news. For over 30 years, the Shiverick portfolio has continued to highlight small family estates that produce wines that are made naturally and have true personality. Shiverick Imports introduces these unique finds to the market, giving them exposure to wine lovers nationwide.

The core of our Portuguese portfolio, Herdade do Rocim is located in Alentejo, an inland region in the south of Portugal. Although the Alentejo has the reputation for being a hot area that produces rich (sometimes over-rich) reds, Rocim is bucking that trend. As the winery explains:
"The Vidigueira fault, a natural landmark which marks the border between the Upper and Lower Alentejo, determines the raison d'être of Vidigueira, the southernmost wine-producing sub-region in the Alentejo. The East-West facing escarpment, of around 50 kilometers in length, defines the climate of Vidigueira, and, despite its deep-lying southern location, makes it one of the most temperate sub-regions in the Alentejo."
Balance is the hallmark of the wines of Herdade do Rocim, though they can certainly be powerful as well. Their wines all have a real sense of place, as Pedro and Catarina have always expressed their love and respect for Alentejo through what they produce. Not only have they made many wines from local varietals, but they are also rejuvenating local ways of wine production. Their amphora projects over the past several vintages have received great acclaim and they are expanding their elevage program with these new "Clay Aged" bottlings.


This is the inaugural vintage of the Clay Aged Branco and we're thrilled to offer this unique blend of Verdelho, Viosinho and Alvarinho. At the winery, the grapes underwent manual selection on a vibrating sorting table. After being fully destemmed and lightly crushed, they were foot trodden in traditional stone open fermenter (lagar) with indigenous yeasts. Then the must was aged in small containers made of local clay for nine months and a further three months in bottle. The wine is golden amber color with aromas of flint, chalk, and stone. The palate shows a dry, fresh minerality and a structured profile.

Located in the Lower Alentejo region in the southern half of Portugal, between Vidigueira and Cuba, lies the estate of Herdade do Rocim. Catarina Vieira has been in charge of the development of the estate and she believes that Alentejo has the unique conditions required to produce world-class wines. Joining her as General Manager of the estate is Pedro Ribiero. He contributes to the winemaking decisions, as well as running the sales and business affairs of the estate. Since purchasing the estate, Caterina and Pedro have invested greatly in the land by completely regenerating the vineyards and building a new state of the art winery. They believe that Rocim has great potential for producing high quality wines with worldwide recognition and have created a project that gives value not only to Alentejo, but to Portugal as a whole.

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