Mateus Nicolau de Almeida, a family with long ties to the Douro, has a new, very exciting dry white wine project named Eremitas (hermits). The Almeida clan owned Ramos Pinto and the family is still responsible for the wine making at that reputable Port house; Mateus’ grandfather made Barca Velha, arguably the most iconic and historically important dry wine made in the Douro, paving the way for all that came after him. More recently, in 1994, Mateus’ father, João Nicolau de Almeida, created Quinta do Monte Xisto in a vineyard he planted in Vila Nova Foz da Côa, in the Douro Superior. The Quinta covers nearly 100 acres, with roughly twenty-five acres dedicated to vines. The farming is organic, and biodynamic practices are also used.
100% Rabigato. From a vineyard situated at 500 meters with deep soils. The wines in the Eremitas line are all made the same way, with the fruit macerating on skins for a few hours in a granite basin. After pressing, the wine is racked into concrete vats where it ferments spontaneously without temperature control. Sees no oak. The Eremitas wines are named after the early Christian monks known as the desert monks, who isolated themselves in the desert meditating and searching for enlightenment.
The finest of the white varietals found in the Douro Superior, this is a special wine as Rabigato is rarely found made as a mono-varietal; the aroma is reminiscent of acacia and orange blossom, with vegetal notes and a strongly mineral character, full body and good acid structure.