Caves Sao Joao

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


Caves Sao Joao 2020 Espumante Bruto Rose, Bairrada DOC Login In Stock
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 In Stock
Caves Sao Joao 1985 Porta dos Cavaleiros Tinto, Dao DOC Login W&S 90 <1 Case

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 1985 Porta dos Cavaleiros Tinto, Dao DOC
    Wine & Spirits
    Rating: 90 (4/1/2015)

    Caves São João has a cache of older wines they are just now releasing into the market. These need to be treated with care and given plenty of air, as this 1985, for example, is a delicate wine. It starts with scents of dried fruits, dried flowers and old-fashioned stalky baga tannins. Then the aroma develops into a complex mélange of cedar, tobacco, mushrooms and spice as the tannins mellow into a note of paraffin wax. A little Portuguese originality to serve with roast lamb.