♦ 2012 Souzão ♦

Vineyard: Silvaspoons Vineyard
Appellation: Alta Mesa - Lodi
Wine: 100% Souzão
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 111 cases


Souzão is a Portuguese variety most often used for blending in Port wines. It is not used very much in Portugual these days and it is even more unusual to find it as a 100% varietal dry table wine. It is one of only three or four grape varieties in the world that has pigment in its pulp. This results in incredible color and flavor, yet it has a surprisingly soft and round mouth feel for a wine that looks so dark.

For most red wines the color of the resulting wine depends on the wine making process. Since pigments are located in the skin of the almost all grapes, not in the juice, the color of the wine depends on many factors. Examples of these factors are; how long the wine was fermented on the skins, the temperature range of the fermentation, how many times and how thoroughly the skins are stirred back into the juice during fermentation, and the pH of the fermenting wine. The Souzão grape is an exception because of its pigmented pulp. Other varieties that have this characteristic are Jacquez, Alicante Bouchet, and Gran Noir de la Calmette – not exactly household words in the world of table wine.

The aromas and flavors are like nothing you have ever had in a red wine before –    Very deep berries, earth, tar, anise, floral elements, and other subtle aromatics. This wine is definitely the bass player in the wine symphony.