Caves Sao Joao

Country of Origin: Portugal
Location: Bairrada, Beiras
People: Costa Family, Owners & Winemakers


Caves Sao Joao (375 ml) 2017 Espumante Bruto Rose Login In Stock
Caves Sao Joao 2019 Espumante Bruto Rose Login In Stock
Caves Sao Joao 1994 'Poco do Lobo' Arinto, Bairrada DOC Login In Stock
Caves Sao Joao 1985 'Frei Joao' Tinto, Bairrada DOC Login
Caves Sao Joao 1996 'Poco do Lobo' Tinto, Bairrada DOC Login In Stock
Caves Sao Joao 1994 'Poco do Lobo' Cabernet Sauvignon, Bairrada DOC Login
Caves Sao Joao 1995 'Poco do Lobo' Cabernet Sauvignon, Bairrada DOC Login WA 91
Caves Sao Joao 1985 Porta dos Cavaleiros Tinto, Dao DOC Login In Stock

Wine regions come and go. Bairrada and Dão were central to the Portuguese wine industry for most the 20th century but fell to obscurity in the 1990's when wine trends demanded bigger, more extracted, warmer climate wines. But what comes around goes around. 20 years later, markets are looking for finesse and freshness, and people are heading back to Bairrada and Dão.

Caves São João, established by 3 brothers José, Manuel and Albano Costa, became a dominant winery in 1920 with the brands Porta dos Cavaleiros (Dão) and Frei João (Bairrada). These wines when young have pronounced tannins and high acidity. They are wines that age gracefully when kept in perfect conditions at the winery for 20/30/40 years. The Costa family opened their cellars to offer Obrigado Vinhos Portugal the old wines in stock ranging from 1959 to 2000. Now, they are pristine examples of mature wines with profound finesse and complexity. Caves São João is the only winery in Portugal offering library releases of still wines commercially, with vintages going back to the 1950’s.

Caves São João acquired Quinta do Poço do Lobo in 1972. Poço do Lobo is an estate with about 35 hectares. The estate is planted mainly to Arinto and Baga. It is only 15k from the sea, in the Bairrada region in central Portugal. Launched in the 1950s, Frei João specializes in red and white blends of indigenous Bairrada varietals. Due to their long term positive relationships with growers in Bairrada, Caves São João gets offered the best fruit produced each vintage. Reds are made from the noble Baga, the high acid, bright fruited indigenous varietal of the area.


  • Caves Sao Joao 1995 'Poco do Lobo' Cabernet Sauvignon, Bairrada DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (8/31/2018)

    The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Quinta do Poço do Lobo is unoaked and comes in at 13.5% alcohol. This Reserva has more power than the regular reds and much riper fruit. It is bigger and fresher in every respect. Intense and powerful, this is nuanced by cassis and red fruits. It ends with a big finish. There are some typical nuances of aging Cab too. So, while it is fresh for its age, it hardly tastes like a young red. Many will consider that a good thing. Complexity counts. It is surprising that it is still so tight, but it seems mostly to have the depth to keep up. I did wonder, though, if it is not ready now, will it ever be? It is definitely on the rustic side. The quibble over balance is relatively minor, however, and you can approach this. It should easily last another decade—maybe two. Complex and beautifully structured, this is impressive on many fronts. Give it some air.