Bacalhôa Wines of Portugal, founded in 1922, initially held the name João Pires & Filhos, which explains why different wines produced by Bacalhôa bear the initial "J.P.". The company has come a long way in becoming one of the leading wine producers in Portugal. More over, J.P. has become a benchmark for most wine retailer's Portugal selection.
In the beginning the company started with the vinification of grapes from the Palmela Region. Palmela is a Portuguese wine region centered around the town of Palmela, bordering the Setúbal Peninsula region (east of the town of Lisbon and west of the wine region of Alentejo).
The Palmela region used to be under the "Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada" (IPR) classification, but due to its efforts to improve quality, recently received the status of "Denominação de Origem Controlada" (DOC). It first gained attention for its off dry white wines made from Muscat grapes but has recently turned its attention to producing dry red and white table wines.
Palmela constitutes a sunny district of low hills and sandy soils near the Sado River. It is affected by a warm, maritime-influenced climate due to the proximity of the Atlantic ocean and experience minimal rain during the growing season which is ideal for the vines. Its sandy soils' vineyards are planted primarily to Periquita and produce mostly soft, agreeable, early maturing wines.
During the seventies, Bacalhôa Wines of Portugal invested heavily in viticulture and advanced winemaking techniques, thus becoming a model company for the production of high quality Portuguese wines.
In 1998, Comendador Berardo became a major shareholder and continued to uphold the company’s mission of excellence. New vineyards were planted, investments were made to update the wineries, new estates were acquired, and the company became a partnership with Lafitte Rothschild.
Reference should also be made to the wineries located in three wine regions: in Peninsula de Setúbal (Azeitão); in Óbidos (Loridos); in Alentejo (Arraiolos).
Of significant note – and as part of the company’s rich historical heritage spanning eight decades – are the Renaissance palace of Quinta da Bacalhoa, which now belongs to the company, the mansion and estate in Loridos, and an outstanding collection of antique Portuguese tiles as well as an oriental garden.
The Enotourism project “Wine, Art and Passion” is in place at the three wineries. Visitors are invited for a tour from Vine to Wine, enjoying the combination of tradition and innovative advanced techniques of wine making with art exhibitions: painting, tile collections, sculpture and millenary olives trees from the dam at Alqueva.
With a production capacity of 12 million litres, an ageing potential of 6000 barrels, and some 500 hectares of vineyards, Bacalhôa Wines of Portugal continues in its drive to lead the industry in the cultivation and creation of new wines, whilst offering its consumers unique and innovative products of consistent and superior quality.
2002 Bacalhôa J.P. Private Selection Palmela D.O.C Portugal
Suggested retail price $10-$13
Imported / Distributed by Admiral Wine Merchants
The robe is quite dark and intense. The nose is rich, earthy with aromas of black berry, lavender-like floral touches and hints of spice. The palate is quite round and balanced, yet earthy and a touch rustic but in a good way, with ripe dark berry, earth, mineral, and here again the spicy and floral notes. Overall, this 100% Perequita red wine is quite enjoyable and easy going, with good acidity to balance it and keep it fresh, and enough integrated tannins to maintain the structure. The earthy, mineral notes bring interesting features and add character. Lovely.
LeDom du Vin
Info partly taken from the importer website at www.admiralimports.com
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