Mateus Nicolau Almeida Trans Duoro Express 2020

Regular price $20.00 Sale

Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Roriz, and Tinta Barroca


Baixo Corgo, Duoro, Spain

Trans-Douro-Express are “climate” wines, and are labeled based on the sub-regions of Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo, and Douro Superior. Working their way from Baixo near the Atlantic coast, Cima in the center of the Douro and more Medi influenced and lastly Superior which is continental and certainly the 'hottest'.

They all come from vineyards of schist bedrock (look at that rocky soil as they cut into the hillsides creating terraces!) and variations of topsoil composition, mostly loam (clay and sand mixture) topsoil and are very poor with low water retention. The wines are a blend of more than ten varieties and crafted with the same basic processes in the cellar: all destemmed and spontaneously co-fermented in 4000L concrete vats. 

Extractions are gently done one time per day (maximum) with pumpovers, or pigeage by feet and hands for four to five days prior to pressing. They’re aged in the same concrete vats for eight months, racked a few times during aging, lightly filtered, and sometimes fined. Total SO2 levels range between 40-50 ppm(mg/L) with the first addition usually made prior to fermentation.

Mateus Nicolau de Almeida made and bottled his first wine in 1988, at only ten years old. He’s the son of one of Portugal’s most celebrated winegrowers, João Nicolau de Almeida, and the grandson of Fernando Nicolau de Almeida, the founder of Portugal’s most mythical and immortal (and most expensive) wine in 1952, Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha. By blood, they’re all connected to the legendary Ramos Pinto port house started in 1880 by the then twenty-one-year-old artist, Adriano Ramos Pinto, known today for its historic port wines, but even more for their iconic, art deco label illustrated in 1925 by French artist, René Vincent. Coming to understand Mateus’ family heritage of wine, art, and creative and progressive minds, makes it easier to imagine what his first wine crafted at such a young age would have been like.

Mateus’s curiosity for the world and wine led him to experiences in California, Argentina, Chile, and Spain, but most of them abroad were in France, including seasons at Caves de Saint Mont, Château Grillet, and numerous châteaux (Reynon, Doysy Daëne, Clos Floridène) co-managed by University of Bordeaux enology professor, the late Denis Dubourdieu, whose influence on Mateus was enormous. But his most important interaction in Bordeaux was in 1996 at a Third Growth Margaux estate, Château Cantenac Brown, where he met Teresa Ameztoy, who would become his partner in life, the mother to his children, and the holder of the string that keeps the kite that is Mateus from flying away. Mateus’ wine experiences also include involvement in their familial project, Quinta do Monte Xisto, and in 2003, he created the winery, Muxagat, then left it to his partners in 2014 to develop his own project...