After having included the Casa Américo red 2014 in November’s Mystery Box (which has garnered excellent reviews), we’ve received another of the estate’s stars, the Encruzado, which, by now, should be on its way to the refrigerator.
This monovarietal wine, exclusive from the Dão region – which obtained 90 points from Wine Enthusiast – will shine at your next weekend lunch.
Fresh. Chilled. Just how an excellent white wine is supposed to be served.
This wine pairs perfectly with a light meal, straight from the oven or cooking pot, of the type that warms the soul and beckons a companion that provides freshness to the mouth, throat, and, why not?, life in general.
The Dão region has a way of proving the excellence of its vineyards and the positive influence that the 600-metre altitudes exert on the wines.
Américo Seabra would certainly be very proud of the work his children and grandchildren have done over the years.
After you’ve tried the Encruzado, tell us what you think.
Cheers from us to you.
Appellation: Dão and Lafões
Casa Américo was established by Américo Seabra, the family patriarch, who had the dream of producing wine in the village where he was born, Vila Nova de Tazém. The project came to life through his children, who recovered the 18th-century property and built a new winery. Casa Américo currently has 100 ha of vineyard, some of the oldest being more than 100 years old. They’re planted with the Dão region’s noblest varieties and located in poor granitic soil at an altitude of 500 and 600 metres.
The sub-region where they’re situated, Serra da Estrela, is one of the Dão’s most distinctive terroirs. It’s here that wines of unique freshness and elegance are produced.
Vineyards: These grapes come from two plots located in Vila Nova de Tazém. The vineyards are 40 years old, and productivity stands at approximately 4 tonnes/ha. The plot percentage varies according to vine productivity.
Manual harvest. Pressing after total destemming with pellicular maceration during 10 hours at 12°C. Fermentation was initiated in small stainless-steel vats at a controlled temperature of 16°C and finished in French oak barrels where it staged for 3 months with battonage. Held bottled for at least 12 months before becoming commercially available.
3 months in French oak barrels
Lemon-yellow in colour with greenish hues. The aroma is delicate and noted by white-pulp fruits and citric zest. Creamy mouth with beautiful acidity and a long, mineral finish.
Total Acidity: 5.84 g/L
Total Sugars: 0.7g/L
Baked seabass in bread crust
For the bread dough
500 gr unleavened/all-purpose/plain wheat flour
15 gr granulated/active dry yeast
300 ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Extra Flour for kneading
*As an alternative, you can purchase a packet of ready-made pizza dough or base
For the Seabass
1 seabass, approximately 1.5 kg, cleaned
3 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 anise star
Half a bunch of parsley, chopped
For aromatised olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 lemon peel
1 bay leaf
1 – Dissolve the dry yeast in a bowl with a bit of warm water.
In a large bowl, add the flour and open up a cavity in the middle.
Add a little salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and the dissolved yeast.
With your hand, combine and knead until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl.
If necessary, add a little flour but be careful not to make the dough too dry.
Sprinkle the dough with a bit of flour, cover with a towel or a clean, thick dishcloth and reserve in a warm place for the dough to double in size.
2 – Prepare the fish seasoning.
Using a pestle and mortar, smash up 3 garlic cloves cut into pieces, salt, pepper, the chopped parsley, the anis star and one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Crush together until a paste is formed.
Add the juice of 1 lemon and half its zest and mix.
3 – Brush the fish’s belly with half the paste.
Cover the fish with the remaining paste and season on both sides with a little more salt and pepper.
4 – Once the dough has risen, flour a flat surface and place the dough in the centre. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and stretch out with a rolling pin.
5 – Place the fish at the centre of the stretched-out dough.
Wrap the fish in the dough, making sure there are no holes.
Place fish on a floured baking tray.
Place into a pre-heated oven (180°C) and let bake for 45 minutes.
6 – In a small pot, drizzle the olive oil, the crushed garlic clove, the bay leaf and lemon peel. Let heat up but without frying or burning.
When the olive oil has been infused, take off the heat.
7 – After 45 minutes, when the dough is cooked, take the fish out of the oven.
Immediately brush the dough with the aromatised olive oil.
Break the bread apart to reveal the fish and serve with cooked vegetables and potatoes. If preferred, sauté the vegetables in a little of the aromatised olive oil.