Exploring Gardunha Sul: The Fascinating New Producer in Portugal’s Beira Interior

By | 17 April 2024

André Lourenço dedicated a decade and a half to the production of techno wines for others before initializing his own endeavour, where he could manifest wines that epitomized originality and transparency. His base of operations is in Fundão, located in Beira Interior where the climate cycles between hot, dry days and freezing nights during the vine’s growth period. He maintains 2.5 hectares of vineyards, planted in the nutrient-deficient sandy granitic soils which are optimal for the production of quality wines. These vineyards are between 60 to 80 years old. He intends to expand his operation to cover 7 hectares.

Lourenço initiated Gardunha Sol amidst the 2020 pandemic, however, the official commencement was in 2021. In his previous occupation, he had held positions in wineries in Alentejo and Lisboa. There was a brief period where he ventured out of the wine industry, however, he returned to it shortly after.

Gardunha Sul Gatafunho Branco 2023 (sample from tank)
With vibrant, breezy, fresh and stony attributes, the wine exhibits a pleasant amalgamation of apple and pear coupled with the subtle flavours of white peach. It displays freshness, depth and a hint of structure. Given a rating of 92 out of 100.

Gardunha Sul Primeras Gotas 2021
A concoction of Fernão Pires, Arinto and Muscat, aged for 9 months in chestnut barrels. The colour varies from a full yellow to a gold. Flavours of citrus and brightness shine through the waxiness with hints of tangy, fresh, lemony notes and the additional profile of orange peel. It has a gripping palate with the additional structure of a marmalade edge, enabling a brightness that sets it apart. Given a rating of 93 out of 100.

Gardunha Sul Gatufunho Tinto 2022
12% alcohol. 75% Castelão plus 25% field blend. Pale cherry red. Lively, tart and bright with lovely cherry fruit and some spicy notes. Grippy and firm with lovely balance, and some savoury notes. 93/100

Gardunha Sul Primeras Gotas Corricão 2022
45% Rufete then 20% Marouf and the balance other varieties. Foot trodden in a lagar, whole cluster, where it stays for fermentation plus another 7 days. Lovely cherries and plums with nice texture, and good acidity. Has a sour cherry twist on the finish. Classy, ripe and textural with a savoury twist on the finish. 93/100

Gardunha Sul Carrolice 2022
This is a blend of Rufete, Cartegabogos and Alfrocheiro made in lagar. Bright and lively showing nice acidity and a firm structure with appealing red cherry and plums fruit, with good acidity and really firm tannins. 93/100

Older notes from July 2022

Gardunha SulPrimeras Gotas Curtimenta 2021
Delightfully fresh and vibrant with a hint of oxidative notes. Featuring lively acidity and a refreshing twist of apricot. The endnote is crisp and juicily sharp. Rated at 92/100.

Gardunha Sul Primeras Gotas Oxid Chestnut 2020
Bright and vivid with lovely citrus notes wrapped in a shell of orange peel. The nutty undertones are well balanced with good acidity. It’s a uniquely distinctive wine, precise in its delivery. Rated at 93/100.

Gardunha Sul Rosé 2021
Made from Castelão grapes, this rosé exhibits delightful strawberry and raspberry flavours. With well-built structure, it manages a touch of grip without being overwhelming. A touch of herbal notes and a pleasantly tart edge finish off the taste. Rated at 92/100.

Gardunha Sul Castelão 2021
Produced from partially destemmed grapes that are foot-trodden once a day. This wine offers a juicy, vibrant, and spicy experience. Bright raspberry notes hint at a touch of crunch and spice. A tart, crunchy texture is well-matched with good density. Rated at 91.100.

Gardunha Sul Field Mix 2020
Abandoned vineyards. Rescued first wine from this. Some grapes over some under 20+ varieties. Complex, spicy, dense and rich with some tannin. Bold and expressive with nice depth with grippy structure. 93/100

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