Ermelinda Freitas Moscatel de Setubal NV

Casa Ermelinda Freitas is a family-owned estate, passed down through the generations since 1920. It is now in the hands of Leonor Freitas, who is the fourth generation of the family’s wine producers. The winery is based in the Palmela region of Spain within the Setúbal peninsula. Whilst the estate has been making wine for a long time, it wasn’t until 1997 that they started bottling wine for their own label. It is named in honour of Leonor’s mother – Ermelinda. The modern winery is well equipped; displaying a great example of the combination of modern winemaking with traditional methods.

Their Moscatel de Setubal NV is made from Muscat grown on sandy stone soils. As this is a fortified wine like Sherry and Port, it has an addition of alcohol. Fermentation starts in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and roughly half way through the fermentation, grappa (at 77% alcohol by volume) is added to the vat. This stops the fermentation by killing off the yeast. The wine is left in the vat for an extended period of maceration on its skins, until March the following year. The wine is then racked off into French oak barrels, where it is aged for a further 24 months before being bottled.

Tasting Note Leaf DayLeaf Day
The Ermelinda Moscatel is orangey brown in colour, with a slight haziness. With aromas of orange blossom and pistachios it smells like dessert in a glass. The palate has flavours of candied fruit, complemented by honeyed notes. It is a sweet wine but really well balanced, with a crisp acidity that leaves the palate fresh, not cloying. There is a tiny bit of tannin, which gives the wine some grip and adds weight to the body. This Moscatel makes a great dessert wine and provides a perfect pairing for lemon polenta cake.

August 2011

Ermelinda Freitas Moscatel de Setubal NV
Country: Portugal
Region: Setúbal
Vintage: NV
Alcohol: 17.5%
Grape Variety:
Muscat of Alexandria
Where To Buy:
Harrods, Laithwaites, Wine-Searcher
Tags: Wine of the Week, Portugal, Setubal, Moscatel, Ermelinda Freitas, White Wine