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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

! The Cat is Back, the Owl Too !

Remember this one? We're sure many of you do. I'm not one to crunch the numbers, but there's no doubt that this was one of our most popular red wines in the last 12 months. When the previous vintage ran out, we met much disappointment. Now it's finally back, and it's much more limited this year, so you might want to stock up a little, or perhaps a lot.

Time to get your Douro on!

The Douro is where grapes are grown to make Port(o). For a long time, Port sales have been in decline, and we've seen more and more unfortified table wines emerge from the Douro. It often feels like these wines take inspiration from the power and weight of Port, as there are many Douro table wines that are very ripe, extracted, and tannic. Muxagat's Tinta Barroca is clearly not one of these wines. Tinta Barroca is typically used as a blending grape to add fresh fruitiness and subtle herbal and floral notes, and perhaps would have historically been considered too light to bottle on its own. If one's goal is to make a bright and elegant red, however, pure Tinta Barroca seems to be perfectly suited to this end.

Muxagat is a practicing organic and biodynamic estate in the upper Douro Valley. This is the warmest and driest sub-region of the Douro, and here one might expect that it would be difficult to make fresh and elegant wines, but Muxagat excels in this endeavor. Muxagat's style is surely influenced in no small part by the consulting of Luis Seabra, one of Portugal's most talented and forward-thinking enologists, truly a living legend in Portuguese wine. I was privileged to meet Luis a few years back, and it was clear that he is a brilliant and thoughtful person who drinks great wines from all over the world*. It was also clear that he takes inspiration from winemakers focused on fresh wines that let terroir and grape variety express themselves. His philosophy comes through clearly in Muxagat's Tinta Barroca, and I have been thrilled to be able to introduce people to such a wine for less than $20. Say hello to the new Douro, and thank Muxagat, and Luis, for the introduction.

Muxagat Douro Tinta Barroca 2022 - $17

As usual, this wine will combine with others to get 10% off a mix of 6 bottles, or 12% off a mix of 12 bottles.

Please ask questions or place orders by emailing

*It's apparent that many winemakers don't drink a lot of wine from outside their home regions. I would never fault anyone for this, as exploring the whole world of wine can be prohibitively expensive, but it seems quite clear that the perspective that comes from tasting widely is invaluable experience for winemakers. Also, you might want to check out episode 458 of I'll Drink to That, where Luis is interviewed by Levi Dalton.

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