Exploring Casa de Mouraz: A Renowned Biodynamic Producer in Portugal’s Dão Region

By | 15 February 2024

Website: http://www.casademouraz.com/en/

Back in 2000, Sara Dionísio and António Ribeiro left their jobs in Lisbon to become full-time winegrowers in the Dão region, with a commitment to farm organically. In 2006 they took things a step further, working in biodynamics – one of Portugal’s pioneers of this farming approach.

They have vineyards located in several parcels, and ranging in altitude from 100-400 m. Mouraz is where António’s family comes from, and they have been farming vineyards for many generations.

The emphasis here is on indigenous grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Baga, Água-Santa, Malvasia Fina, Bical, Cerceal, Encruzado and Alvarinho.

Back in 2017, wild fires that ravaged northern and central Portugal severely damaged their vineyards, including their home and warehouse. They’ve since replanted, but most are yet to produce. During this period, they’ve been leasing some vineyards which they cultivate.

In addition to creating wines from their vineyards in the Dão, they’ve also started producing a series of wines from other regions since 2006 under the label AIR project (António Lopes Ribeiro). This project covers 25 hectares of vineyards in the regions of Alentejo, Douro, and Minho.

Their wines under the ‘Planet Mouraz’ label are experimental bottles, not falling under the DOC wines category. I had the chance to experience these unique wines with Sara at an event in Porto, Simplesmente Vinho.

Casa de Mouraz Pita 2022 Dão, Portugal
Sara explains that this is a ‘Pitanat’ and not a Pet Nat, mainly consisting of Arinto and is disgorged. It has a lovely citrusy center with bright lemony fruit, complemented with a hint of seaweed and dry fine herbs. Overall, it’s pure, lively, dry, and utterly delightful. 91/100

Casa de Mouraz Planet Mouraz Bolinha 2021 Dão, Portugal
Made from old mixed white varieties with no sulfites, save for a small addition before bottling. The method includes 2 month skin contact and chestnut flour as a preservative. Possesses beautiful aromas, featuring vivid citrus fruit and hints of lime. It has a minty palate with distinctive thyme and rosemary notes, coupled with lime and pear fruit. Rated 92/100.

Casa de Mouraz Encruzado 2018 Dão, Portugal
Fermented in just stainless steel. A blend that is both supple and fruity with lively citrus notes. Briefly touches on dried herbs. Has a fresh, linear appeal with nice weight. It presents brightness and focus with subtle fennel hints. Rated 93/100.

Casa de Mouraz Planet Mouraz Nina 2022 Dão, Portugal
This originates from an old rented vineyard. It’s a half red/half white ferment – called a palhete. Chestnut flour is utilized as a preservative. The wine is very pale red in color. It’s bright and textural, showing lovely supple cherry and pear fruit, with a touch of orange peel. The drinkability is excellent, with a light texture. Rated 93/100.

Casa de Mouraz Planet Mouraz Chibu 2020 Dão, Portugal
This comprises 80% red and 20% white grapes from an old vineyard that they rent. It is organically farmed. The wine is pale red but delivers some structure and acidity. Plenty of strawberry and cherry fruit as well as some dried herbs and a hint of grip. It’s quite stylish and confident. Rated 94/100.

António Lopes Ribeiro Tinto 2021 Vinho Verde, Portugal

This is a palhete from Vinhão and Loureiro. Bright cherry red in colour, this shows lovely supple, vivid raspberry fruit with a nice acid line. Tangy with some citrus, this has lovely presence and fruit focus but also some texture. 94/100

Casa de Mouraz Palhete 2021 Dão, Portugal

This has many varieties in it – a field blend. A juicy, vivid, light-style red with fine sappy herbal hints and bright cherries and raspberries. Lovely balance here: stony, bright and vivid. 92/100

Casa de Mouraz Elfa 2017 Dão, Portugal

This is made in stainless steel and spends three years in tank! Baga is the main variety, but there are others, including some white ones. Ripe but fresh with lovely texture, showing sweet cherries and plums with a real sense of harmony. Fine-grained structure with a bit of flesh and hints of iodine and minerals. 95/100

Casa de Mouraz Private Selection 2017 Dão, Portugal

50% aged in barrel, the rest in stainless steel. Concentrated and textured with nice ripeness and sleek black fruits, with some sweet cherry and plum fruit. Very textural and fine, with a sour cherry tang. Quite lovely. 94/100

Older notes from 2016

Casa de Mouraz Loureiro Lima 2015 Vinho Verde
8.9% alcohol. Lively and intense. Lemony and precise with apple and lemon. Real intensity with a limey finish. 90/100

Casa de Mouraz Branco Dão 2013
This is a field blend. Really aromatic and lively with citrus and pear fruit. Pure and pith with nice focus and great acidity. 91/100

Casa de Mouraz Rosé 2015
Crisp, bright and juicy, with citrus and pear and a bit of cherry. Very lively and focused. 89/100

Casa de Mouraz Vinho Verde Tinto 2015
Following the skin contact in the press, this wine was treated as a white wine. Its features entail a spicy and reductive aroma with a scent of raspberry. The flavor holds a fresh and juicy mix of raspberry and redcurrant. The rating stands at 89/100.

Casa de Mouraz Tinto Dão 2012
Consisting of a field blend, this wine is dense and somewhat meaty, carrying a grippy raspberry and black cherry fruit flavor. It has a hint of liquorice and a slightly grippy structure with a leafy edge. The rating is measured at 90/100.

Casa de Mouraz Elfa 2013
This wine is cultivated from 85-year-old vines and includes 30 different varieties. It is lively and detailed, boasting some leathery, spicy and textured raspberry and cherry fruit flavors. The presence of fine-grained tannins reflects good structure and texture, and holds real interest. Its rating is 94/100.

Casa de Mouraz AIR 2012 Alentejo
This wine is warm, sweet, and textural, with a nice touch of purity and warmth. It has a ripe character. It scores a rating of 90/100.

Example Link

Casa de Mouraz Antonio Lopes Ribeiro 2013 Douro
This vintage brings forth sweet cherries and raspberries in its aroma with a captivating liqueur-like character. Features notes of liquorice and spice complementing the robust flavors of black fruits. Structured well with a refreshing touch. Score: 91/10

Casa de Mouraz Antonio Lopes Ribeiro 2012 Douro
Exclusively prepared in lagares with no oak aging. Dominated by Touriga Franca. It is structured, dense and a trace of grippiness, delivering flavors of pure black fruits. Advocate a firm and focused texture supported with the right amount of structure and acidity. Score: 91/100

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *