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Casa de Santar Dao Vinho Tinto

2006 This wine features a strikingly elegant display of aromas on the nose, opening with black cherry followed by notes of leather and freshly crushed herbs. The palate shows subtle spiciness and a bit of mint mingling with the juicy red fruit over a foundation of graceful fine-grained tannins.
91
$23.00 / Bottle   $276.00 / Case
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If you like good values, stock up on this wine! Gone are the days of poorly made, rough hard-to-drink Portuguese wines; the wine revolution has reached Portugal and the time to stock up on these wines is now before the rest of the world catches on!

Casa de Santar is surrounded by lovely gardens; it is still home to the Countess of Santar and her family.

Under Salazar in the 1940’s, private firms were forbidden to buy grapes, giving exclusive buying rights only to the co-ops. In 1989, when Portugal joined the EU, this legislation was removed as it was incompatible with EU regulations.

The turning point for the region came in the 1990s when private wineries began investing in modern winemaking in an effort to improve the quality of the wines and a quest to confirm to the rest of the world the potential of their wines.

Casa de Santar is the largest private estate in the Dão region with more than 120 hectares of vineyards and a large modern winery. Wines have been made here since 1616. It is now one of several select boutique producers making a limited amount of quality wine under the umbrella company Dão Sul.

Dão Sul is a partnership between four men passionate about Dão wines who were able to realize their dream when Portuguese wine laws changed in 1989. A decade later, they expanded to include the regions of Bairrada, Douro, Alentejo and Estremadura.

What makes Portuguese wines unique is their indigenous grape varieties, and the Dão is no exception. Touriga Nacional is the leading red variety of the Dão along with Alfrocheiro and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo in Spain).

Winemaking is in the talented hands of Pedro de Vasconcellos e Souza. Using grapes solely from the estate’s vineyards, he begins by macerating the grapes at low temperatures for 24 hours before fermentation.

Vinification is then carried out in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 4 to 6 months in oak barrels and 6 months in the bottle before it is released.