Olé and Obrigado is truly a special wine company. It’s not very often that you find an importer who has a commitment both to artisanal and expressive wine and also to working to improve the lives of others. So, let’s dive a bit deeper into what makes their wines so great, and what makes the work that they do so important.
About Olé & Obrigado
Like many other areas of business, success and innovation usually derive from the people that makeup the company, and Olé & Obrigado is no different. In 1999, Olé Imports was founded by friends Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte. Both of their families have been producing wine in Spain since the 1800s, so this long familial history in the wine industry is very much a part of the makeup of who they are. In fact, the first wines that Olé imported were from Alberto’s family in Montilla in Southern Spain. Patrick Mata has been praised by Robert Parker as “one of the most driven, passionate, and talented young men in the wine world.” In additional to overseeing some world-class wine production endeavors he works with the likes of Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, and Food & Wine Magazine. It seems that this highly experienced and passionate duo from Olé Imports is foundational to the company’s early success.
Founder of Obrigado Vinhos, Rui Abecassis, is native to Portugal and wanted to bring Portuguese wine and culture to the U.S. by creating his import company in 2010. In creating a collection of outstanding Portuguese wines, Rui was able to team up with Patrick and Alberto to form a company devoted to bringing wines from the Iberian Peninsula to the States. So, in 2018, Olé & Obrigado was formed, and here at the Wine Outlet, we are extremely grateful to have their wines in our stores.
Wines From Olé & Obrigado
As Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte come from generations of winemakers, Olé & Obrigado focuses on family-owned wineries throughout Spain and Portugal. This effort is to support “soulful wines of exceptional quality” from “over 40 boutique producers across the Iberian Peninsula.” What makes their wines so characterful is the artisanal nature of their producers, which is a major factor in their carefully curated selections. From crisp white wines, such as those we will have in our tasting on July 24th, like their Nortico Alvarinho or their Vera Vinho Verde from Portugal, to bolder reds like the Ludovicious Garnacha Tinto, Torremoron Tempranillo, or their Fita Preta Tinto, Olé & Obrigado’s wines show careful traditional winemaking as well as a sense of place. These wines for our tasting will be linked below, so you can try them with us!
Commitment to Social Responsibility
The Wine Outlet is proud to be one of Olé & Obrigado’s (O&O) retail partners for a variety of reasons, but a standout one is their drive to be not only excellent stewards of grapevines but also supporters of those in need. O&O has worked with charitable groups such as José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, the South Bronx Educational Foundation, Wheeling Forward, and the T.J. Martell Foundation. One of their rosés, Liquid Geography, which we are proud to carry in our stores, has raised over $270,000 since 2013 for these organizations. Made from 100% Mencia, this rosé is absolutely worth a try, and thank you to our repeat buyers who love this crisp refreshing pink wine.
O&O’s charitable work also extends to the currently challenging times that we’re living through. Covid- 19 has changed our daily lives in a variety of ways, but O&O is working to make the lives of some of those who are most affected just a bit better. As part of their Restaurant Relief Pack, O&O will donate 50% of profits to local organizations throughout the country to help hospitality workers whose livelihoods are adversely affected by this virus. While the program was originally supposed to end in May, O&O is extending it through the summer, allowing great wines to work for a great cause. Please find a selection of these wines below for our tasting, and they are part of this admirable program. Drink well while doing some good!
Virtual Tasting Recap
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for our tasting with Molly Finnegan of Olé & Obrigado! We couldn’t think of a better start to a weekend than discussing and sipping on some delicious Spanish and Portuguese wines with our Wine Outlet family. Also, in buying these wines, you’ve helped restaurant workers in need, and we hope you revisit these wines throughout August while their restaurant relief program continues. In case you pick up any of the bottles we tasted on Friday, relive the tasting on our YouTube channel, where Molly can guide you through these delicious bottles whenever you want!
Both white wines that we tasted basically are calling for summer weather. The Vinho Verde from Vera and Nortico’s Alvarinho are crisp and porch-ready! Molly showed us through maps and beautiful vineyard images how the climate of Northwest Portugal directly affects the character of the wine that shows up in the glass. With regard to the Nortico, “From Spain (Albarino) often you get very aromatic…zestiness and huge liveliness, and Alvarinho from Portugal, you still get those aromatics, but they are a bit more floral and mineral without all of that grapefruit rind and zest…it’s a bit softened.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! This is a true crowd pleaser that will go with a variety of seafood dishes, but it is also great on its own as an aperitif!
The red wines truly showed excellent winemaking practices as well as a sense of place, which seems central to Olé & Obrigado’s process when it comes to curation. While the Ludovicus Garnacha could be mistaken for a wine from France’s Southern Rhone Valley, Molly underscores how the elevation, soil type, and aging of this wine make it a balanced one without any jammy characteristics that you might find in other parts of Spain. The Torremorón Ribera del Duero is made from 120-year-old vines, and “this is unoaked…even though it has this dark roasted component to it, but it’s literally just the expression of the soil and the single grape variety.” The region of Alentejo has a major influence on our final wine of the evening, which is the Fitapreta Tinto. Made in a renovated monastery, this blend of Aragones (Tempranillo), Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouchet shows how “modern technology is integrated into an historical context,” and what results is a deliciously bold Portuguese blend.
This was just a taste of all the historical, geographical, and oenological elements of our tasting with Olé and Obrigado, but, as mentioned above, please check out our YouTube channel for more information on these deliciously expressive bottles. Cheers!