Log In Sign Up

Herdade do Rocim, “Fresh From Amphora” TintoAlentejo, Portugal 2020 (1L)

Sold Out  |  $29.00

Free shipping on any 6 bottles!

The Daily Offer

Herdade do Rocim, “Fresh From Amphora” Tinto Alentejo, Portugal 2020 (1L)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

Natural wine is cool. Fermenting wines in clay pots, like the ancients once did, is cool. Indigenous grape varieties are cool. Attractively priced, liter-sized bottles are cool. So yes, today’s brisk, summer-weight red is a very cool wine, with a cool label to boot. Herdade do Rocim is a savvy, up-and-coming Portuguese wine estate, and they’re obviously playing to the trends with their “Fresh from Amphora” series, but no one around here is arguing with the results:


This bright, easy-drinking red, crafted from regional grapes most people have never heard of, is about as perfect as it gets for this time of year. It’s got modest alcohol and crisp acidity, making it a great candidate for a chill and an outdoor setting of some kind—barbecue, picnic, you name it. When I tasted it, the first thing that came to mind was a group of vineyard workers having lunch during harvest—this is exactly the kind of refreshing, lightweight wine that would be on the table. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more authentic, pleasure-packed wine experience, or a better value, anywhere.



And as I look back at past offers, this is hardly the first “winner” we’ve had from Herdade do Rocim: This young, innovative wine estate is on a roll, and they’re doing it in the Alentejo, a southerly region mostly thought of as a hyper-productive Portuguese “wine lake.” Founded in 2000 by the late Jose Vieira, Herdade do Rocim is now headed up by his daughter, Catarina, and her partner, Pedro Ribeiro. They’ve poured significant investment into regenerating the vineyards and have built a state-of-the-art winery, with the stated goal of changing perceptions about what is possible in Alentejo. In our experience so far, they are succeeding.


Located in the “lower” Alentejo, within the Vidigueira subzone, the estate covers a total of 120 hectares, 70 of which are under vine, feeding a stunning modern winery reminiscent of Napa Valley’s Dominus Estate. The region is the most southerly of the Alentejo growing zones and is largely defined by a large fault line that runs east-west for about 50 kilometers, with soils comprised mostly of decomposed granite and schist. The presence of the fault helps temper the hot, dry climate, which, combined with the poor soil, allows for wines that are rich but also mineral and fresh. In addition to implementing organic farming practices, Vieira and Ribeiro have gone all-in on the production of wines in traditional talhas (the Portuguese name for clay amphorae).


Fermenting and aging wine in talhas is complex and kind of magical, making a $29 price point for a liter of the stuff feel like a very generous gift. The pots are lined with beeswax and filled with the crushed grapes, which ferment slowly on indigenous yeasts, spending about two months on their skins. Since the jars have no lids, Pedro floats a thick cap of fresh olive oil on top of the wine to prevent oxidation. The skins and stems drift to the bottom of each amphora after fermentation, where they rest for up to six months before a small tap is opened at the base of the jar and the sediment serves as a natural filter for the wine, which trickles out very slowly. No sulfur was used during fermentation, and just a tiny amount was added at bottling.


Composed of the indigenous varieties Moreto, Tinta Grossa, Trincadeira, this 2020 was harvested and vinified with the intent of producing an atypical Alentejo red—i.e. one that is not dark, rich, and sappy but bright, racy, and spicy. In the glass, it shines a light cherry red moving to pink at the rim, with inviting aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry, rose petals, white pepper, grilled herbs, and a hint of dried orange peel. It is approaching medium in body, with great crunch and a long, aromatic finish—a decant certainly won’t hurt (splash it about 15 minutes before serving), and a nice chill (take it down to 55 degrees) will blunt the acidity somewhat and highlight the juicy red fruits. In both its scale and its nice balance of fruit and savory earth, this is a food wine extraordinaire, with enough cut for burgers and sausages on the grill but enough finesse for chicken and fish, too. Get a few of these mighty one-liters on the table and you are well-covered. This is pure joy, plain and simple—stock up!




Herdade do Rocim, “Fresh From Amphora” Tinto Alentejo, Portugal 2020 - SommSelect

  • CountryPortugal
  • RegionAlentejo
  • SoilGranite & Schist
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendMoreto, Tinta Grossa, Trincadeira
  • Alcohol12%
  • Service Temp.55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkNow-2023
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingPiri Piri Chicken

  • CountryPortugal
  • RegionAlentejo
  • SoilGranite & Schist
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendMoreto, Tinta Grossa, Trincadeira
  • Alcohol12%
  • Temp.Serve at 55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2023
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingPiri Piri Chicken