The Eugénio de Almeida Foundation founded in 1963 launched its emblem, the Pêra-Manca, one of the oldest in the country and a true legend in Brazil.
The most recent harvest of 2014 was produced from the Aragonese and trincadeira castes, and was launched on 28 March at the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation, next to the Cartuxa Convent, where the Pêra-Manca gained “body and soul”. The presentation has been done to a dozen of wine journalists, experts and critics. The production is around 24,000 bottles and is on the market for € 220 per bottle, but this allows the rapid raising of the prices in national markets, large markets and international markets such as Brazil, where this wine has is specially appreciated due to the history and discovery of this country.
We are facing one of the most iconic Portuguese wines: the red Pêra-Manca. The 2014 harvest is succeeding the 2013 harvest, two years of exceptional grapes production. The grapes are harvested by hand, what helps explaining the 29 years success of this wine produced since 1990 which the first steps started with the great oenologist and wine master Prof. Colaço do Rosário da Messejana.
The professionalism of the winemaking team from Cartuxa (Fundação Eugénio de Almeida), now headed by Pedro Baptista, remains faithful to the principles and the Pêra-Manca red wine is always a great wine, from 35 years old vines. The grapes used are the result of biodynamic selecting process as they are separated using an electronic selection system, whose function is to use only the best grapes in the production process. This makes a lot of difference.
After the fermentation that takes place for 35 to 40 days, as Pedro Batista explains, the wine will stage for a famous 3000 and 5000 liter barrels where it will remain for 18 months. Only then the experienced oenologist knows whether or not they are facing a potential Pêra-Manca wine.
After the stage in barrels, the wine will still have to gain “mystery” and complexity for another two and a half years in a bottle. Only then it goes to the market, four years after the harvest. And there we have the Pêra-Manca 2014, one of the most famous red wines of Alentejo region and one of the most expensive wines in the country.
Describing the wine in the mouth is not easy, it really needs to be tasted. It has good structure, aromas, but always with that typical softness of Alentejo reds. Despite being ready to be drunk it is clear that it will gain more complexity on aromas and flavors over the time – a work of art!
TRAVELING IN BRAZIL’S HISTORY AND DISCOVERY
Drinking it is to travel in the history of Portugal and the Discovery of Brazil, and according to the history – Pedro Álvares Cabral transported Pêra-Manca in his ships in the year of 1500 when on his way to Brazil. That is where the brand comes from as we know it, but has wine it only existed since the 90’s, when the foundation decided to dedicate the wines of exception for this brand.
It was at the Cartuxa Cellar – Quinta de Valbom, that this wine was revealed and presented. Near the cellars of the Monastery of the Cartuxa, the mythical monastery of the Capuchos friars, an old Jesuit post that is now the center of wine stages and the house to the Wine Tourism. In the vaulted room where the stage barrels live side by side with thick walls, José Mateus Ginó who is currently chairman of the company said that “it is really thanks to the effort of 200 employees of this Foundation that we got the latest harvest of the Pêra-Manca from the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation, a foundation with philanthropic, educational and assistance principles of the region of Évora”.
It should be noted that the day was long and everyone had the opportunity to verify the Foundation’s attention on the growth of new vineyards and new plantations and the base of the culture that is the basis of the Cartuxa wines production, with their different brands, but always with wines of exceptional quality. The Pêra-Manca – whose name will be originally associated with the land that belonged to the brothers of the Convento do Espinheiro in Évora, where the vineyards were with the loose stones that “limp”, that is to say used to roll; which in former times – has been in the possession of the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation since the end of the 1980s. The brand was offered by the José Soares Agricultural House, which in the 19th century produced a wine with this name, with the commitment to serve as a label for the best wine made there. Recently, Pêra-Manca red 2005 was elected as “one of the 30 best and most desired wines in the world” according to Vivino, a well-known wine application that already has 35 million users (with other national brands).
SEAL OF AUTHENTICITY
A wine of this quality is always popular to be copied and to prevent this type of fraud, the Cartuxa Cellar has developed, together with the National Press House Casa da Moeda, a seal that guarantees the authenticity of the wine. The system consists of a unique alpha-numeric code associated with the use of a holographic image, incorporated in the bottle capsule, which can be validated on the Adega website, thus guaranteeing the purchase of an original bottle. Not even the most sophisticated graphics are capable of reproducing the hologram present on the stamp.