Vinha do Fava: a Portuguese testament
Vinha do Fava is produced in one of the lesser-known regions of Portugal, Peninsula de Setubal, which is close to Lisbon. Located near the coast, the climate is generally quite warm but does get cooler the further inland you go as altitudes rise. The main grape variety in the region is Castelão which in DOC wine (known here as Palmela) must be 67% of the blend. The winery behind this is Casa Ermelinda Freitas, a matriarchal winery where the women of the family business have made their mark. Despite being set up in 1920, it was only until 1997 that they began to put a brand to their wines, to great commercial success. Since then, recognisable names from Dom Campos, Leo d’Honor and Quinta da Mimosa have emerged from the winery and are much loved worldwide.
The Vinha do Fava brand is masterminded by the winery for Laithwaites customers. They currently have two versions in the family, a single varietal Touriga Nacional (a key port grape) and a Reserva wine which benefits from ageing in oak and, true to the region, is a Castelão led blend.
Vinha do Fava Touriga Nacional
An extremely popular and well-regarded wine, with medals to boot, this is certainly a crowd pleaser. A rich, fruit-forward table wine to impress your guests or just to keep you happy at home, its velvety texture and smooth, supple tannins are simply delicious. As you’d expect from a dry, unfortified wine made from the same grape as port, it is fairly intense and abundant with dark fruits like bramble and plum. Notes of liquorice and a gentle sweet raisin flavour help elongate the finish.
Vinha do Fava Reserva
The step up for those wanting a wine with even more bite is the Vinha do Fava Reserva. A blend of Castelão, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet, a red fleshed grape, lending deep colour and red berries. It spends a year in American and French oak which adds toasty notes and baking spices. Essentially it is packed to the gills with flavour from fruit and oak, making it a great food wine and a decadent sipper.
This blog was written by our wine expert, David Andrews. Read his Instagram blog @oinosattheoikos
Updated 25th July 2023