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Rita Marques “Conceito” Branco 2016

R485.00 inc. VAT
"The 2016 Estate Branco, a field blend from old vines, was seen before, but only as a barrel sample. This is the first look in bottle. It was aged in used French oak (second, third and fourth use) for ten months. For the most part in Portugal, I tend to prefer the 2015 whites, but this seems to be one example of the 2016 doing better. Some years in the cellar will give us the final answer, of course. The oak, although modest, is too prominent just now, giving this a woody feel up front but without any vanilla nuance. This is also very young, however, in bottle less than six months when tasted this time. Underneath the oak is the precision and crispness that I expect in Conceito's whites. The acidity gives this superb length on the finish, grabbing your palate tightly and eviscerating the wood as the wine warms and airs out. It has power to spare. The power is matched by good concentration—indeed, the wine seems fuller now than when I first saw it. This is a wine whose balance will only become better with time—don't even think of drinking it today, when it is still mostly about its potential. If you can, come back in the summer of 2019 for better results. It is now demonstrating that it should age well for a decade or more. Indeed, it may improve steadily for several years. Right at the moment, though, it desperately needs some cellaring. Don't drink it too warm, by the way. This is the type of wine that will show better closer to 60 degrees Fahrenheit than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Let's be conservative as well as optimistic for the moment. It's worth leaning up right now for the potential, but the ceiling might eventually be even higher than anticipated." - Mark Squires, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Rita Marques Conceito “Contraste” Branco 2016

R185.00 inc. VAT
"The 2016 Contraste Branco is a field blend fermented in stainless steel tanks (70%) and new French oak barrels (30%). It comes in at 13% alcohol. This handles its modest wood treatment (70% stainless steel, the rest used wood) perfectly. It is barely noticeable. It has good volume for the level and the good freshness I anticipate here, too. Its round and relatively concentrated and full feel is impressive at its level this year, but it is always elegant, too. There is good acidity supporting everything. Then, it finishes with some tension and some traces of herbs. This should age well for the level in good years like this and the 2015. I do like to be conservative in such things, so we'll take that a bit slowly for the moment, while noting that they may surprise us." - Mark Squires, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Rita Marques Conceito Bastardo 2017

R360.00 inc. VAT
"The 2017 Bastardo is unoaked and comes in at 13% alcohol. Light in color, not particularly fleshy, a touch funky and acidic, this is certainly a summer-styled red in many respects, but it does have some power to go with the intensity of flavor. The finish is laced with bitter chocolate nuances. It's a bit different, but I am warming up to this bottling. Even Rita Marques is not quite sure how well this will age, but she reports that the 2007 is still doing fine. Let's be a little conservative just now." - Mark Squires, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Rita Marques Contraste Tinto 2015

R185.00 inc. VAT
"The 2015 Contraste Tinto is a field blend aged for 16 months in stainless steel tanks (30%) and used French oak (70%). This is the winery's second wine, mostly (80%) sourced from 40-year-old vines. Rita says it is a great year for reds, although some producers think it is a bit on the lighter side. That said, I've seen few vintages with such vivid and flavorful fruit, while still perfectly supported by freshness. They tend to have a certain silky texture, too. That describes this perfectly. It is very elegantly styled but wonderfully delicious. That is always in a dry, clean way, not ever a bit jammy but lifted and lively. This is a Contraste that won't impress with richness, but it does everything else pretty brilliantly. I do idly wonder if these 2015s will be so impressive in the long haul, when the spectacular fruit fades a bit, but it's hard not to be excited now, and wines with good acidity tend to surprise you. They hang on well. At the price point, it's hard to go wrong here." - Mark Squires, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate