Jampal: Portugal’s near-extinct grape – ask Decanter

Jampal: Portugal’s near-extinct grape – ask Decanter

Your next grape to hunt down and try…

Jampal: Portugal’s near-extinct grape – ask Decanter

The grape of Jampal was saved from near-extinction by a Brazilian ex-footballer, André Manz, when he decided to make Portuguese wine, Manz.

‘The variety was on the brink of extinction until an ex-footballer from Brazil bought a derelict vineyard and started to clean,’ said Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, in his Portuguese wines Discovery Theatre at the Decanter Spain and Portugal Fine Wine Encounter.

‘Amongst other vines (mainly Castelão) he found a few vines with that yield white grapes. After consulting locals and the IVV (Instituto da Vinha e do Vinho) he established it was an old variety called Jampal.’

There are only 32.25 hectares of it grown in Portugal, most planted around Lisbon but also Beiras and Tejo.

It can be found in mixed plantings, but the only single varietal is Manz Wine, Dona Fatima Jampal, which was shown at the Discovery Theatre.

‘It is difficult in the vineyard,’ says Junior MW.

‘It ripens towards the later stages of the harvest, yielding a low and often irregular crop. It is susceptible to botrytis bunch rot, coulure and powdery mildew.’

‘But if you do it properly, it makes great wines.’

What does it taste of?

Jampal makes wines with citrus and floral aromas.

‘It produces full bodied perfumed wines, but as it ages the variety loses its floral notes gaining more texture and a nutty note. The variety has medium acidity and moderate alcohol levels,’ said Junior MW.

‘Don’t serve it overly chilled – [serve it] like a white Burgundy.’

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