Topic of the Week 3/22/2019 - Advanced

Chartreuse and movie quotes nailed by and last week. Death Proof is the most underrated Tarantino film IMO.

This week: Canteiro

Where is this utilized and how does it affect the wine?

  • The Canteiro method is used mainly in the production of Madeira - essentially, it involves filling casks with fortified wine (in Madeira, this will happen during or just at the end of fermentation), and letting the casks sit in attics (or outside) facing the south to let the sun slowly heat and mature the wine.  They have to sit outside for a MINIMUM of two years in cask, and then can bottled after 3 years total aging.  However, it is not uncommon for "Vinhos de Canteiro" to stay in cask for upwards of 20 years (labeled as Garrafeira).

    This is different from the Estufagem method, where the wine is put into a steel vat and hot water is circulated around it in a jacket for 3 months to push the Maderization process faster.

    Canteiro is a much more delicate method of Maderizing wine - while you do lose some alcohol to evaporation, you avoid the "burnt" flavors that Estufagem can produce.  As a result, you have a lower alcohol and more delicate flavor profile.  

    It's mainly used in the production of fine Madeira, but I'm sure there's other places where it see's use for wine products - I just don't know where.  

    I know there's a couple of whisk(e)y producers in Kentucky messing around with leaving barrels outside or exposed to air for part of the year.  Booker's bourbon is typically bottled from Bourbon near the center windows of Beam rickhouses, and Buffalo Trace even bottled one once after a tornado left the barrels exposed.  

  • The Canteiro is used for the best wines in Madeira. They are aged in casks for at least two years in lodge attics, exposing the wine to the heat of the sun and a slow maturation.  It’s a gentler and more natural way of heating and oxidizing the wines than the more rapid Estufagem process. 

  • Worth noting that this process is usually reserved for the best stocks from a house. 

    edit: guess Michael already noted that. 

  • Direct quote from the Study Guide:

    "the best Vinhos de Canteiro will remain in cask for 20 years or more, developing into the rarest and most treasured wines of the island: Frasqueiras."