|Amazing vineyards at Quinta do vale Dona Maria|
Tag Archives: Douro Valley
Extremes (Douro, Portugal – Day Three)
Alright, still (Douro Valley, Portugal – Day Two)
|If it weren’t empty I would be making wine angels|
Niepoort – 17/07/2012
2011 Malolactic white
Very textural, creamy yet fresh and tropical in nature. Balanced and long, well-integrated but in need of some more time in the barrel.
Broad and soft, but focused with gentle tannins, some maturity and drive, great balance and already drinking well. Slight savoury character, almost reminiscent of tonkatsu sauce in a sweet and sour kind of way.
2010 Redoma Red
More intense and brooding, slightly more dark fruit characters, more of that mulberry. Slightly more classic Douro red profile, tighter tannins, but still a hint of tonkatsu.
Very intense and structured, powerful focused and expressive tannins, more layers of complexity that will take time to open up. More in the soy spectrum, beautiful with a sukiyaki. A sensational wine that is looking closed and reductive for now.
Dry White Port
Fine and focused, balanced but a little sharp and volatile. Needs more time to soften and then blended to make it a rich textural wine really good with food.
Rich round and viscous, sweet profile and so similar to muscatel sherry they would be indistinguishable.
A truly unique wine, like Cote-de-Nuits made in the Douro. Whole bunch maceration and partial fermentation, completed in barrel to give the wine a soft but very savoury funky character, unbelievable complex and long, and will age interestingly.
Rosy smoky toasty depth. Quite warm initially on the palate, but very focused and bold, nice concentration, dark fruits, velvety and full, will actually age gracefully in the bottle.
Nice dusty red earth characters, showing a little toastiness. Wonderful concentration and density, very tight and focused with a great core of acidity, the elegance is lurking in the background urging you to age it for at least 10 years.
Amazingly intense and brooding, concentrated but not expressive. Far too young to be showing anything, need to give it time to open up. Dense powerful bold and assured on the palate, wonderful integration of fruit, sweetness and alcohol. Very long and complex on the palate, supple and slightly savoury on the back. Need to see it again in a couple more years.
Lovely subtle yet bright fruit nose, very elegant caramel influence, not a lot of nut or oxidative elements. Full and intense, exceptional focus and precision, balance and intensity, freshness.
Very fine, complex and subtle, smoky creamy milk chocolate and wonderful orange characters, some bright red fruits, fresh and lively and full of life and vibrancy. Very special wine. Still retaining some sweetness but the savoury notes showing through beautifully.
|Old Niepoort bottles|
Quinta do Vale Dona Maria – 18/07/2012
2011 Vina Ameio (200m 70 yr old south facing)
Very dark on the nose, really intense deep earth and black fruits, extremely brooding toasty elements. Juicy fruit sweet, retaining some R/S? Quite supple but dense and full.
2011 Alampassa (same as before, deeper into the valley, more tinto roriz)
Brighter more ruby in colour. Again, quite fruit sweet but drier and more intense in the tannins and acids, a little warmer profile too. More masculine and granitic and intense. Deeper, and earthier.
2011 Silvas (old vine north facing)
Quite serious deep and mature in character, concentration and finesse at the same time. The most complete component I’ve ever tasted. Exactly what I mean when I talk about approachability when young but deserving of cellaring. Fresh intense vibrant, wonderful balance and intensity.
2011 Vina Nova (7 year old vineyard, malo in barrel)
Quite simple and light, ice ripe fruit, fresh and full but very youthful.
2011 Abaixo + Ameio
Showing a lot more toastiness. Big soft and fruit sweet, some R/S from the Ameio perhaps, dense and yet supple and structured. Needs some more time to open up.
Van Zellers Branco 2010
Nice fresh vibrant green fruit notes, citrus and some very slight herbal notes. Excellent ripeness, perfect balance, very fresh but great character, harmonious to a ‘T’. Good intensity and focus, but clean and pure.
VZ Branco 2011
More leesy and creamy nose, but still showing the lovely citrus elements. Completely shut down and reductive, barely expressing anything. Good structure though, just not a particularly good vintage for the whites.
Rufo do Vale D. Maria 2010 (45/45 touriga franca and nacional, 10% tinto roriz)
Bright fresh vibrant red fruit nose. Nice and pure and fresh, but well structured with some nice approachable fruit sweetness. Bright acids and friendly tannins.
Van Zellers 2010
Deeper and more intense, showing more textured barrel characters. More savoury notes, structure but still great finesse. Looking quite shy at the moment, will really benefit.
Casa de Caval de Loivos 2010
Nice density and maturity, bold dark red fruits, slightly rustic lagar notes. Showing the fruit sweet, but not residual sugar sweet, very supple and well structured, warm but balanced. Full-flavour but lovely and velvety, old oak a perfect complement.
Quinta do Vale Dona Maria 2010
Very serious nose, really intense and mature, wonderfully floral dark fruits. Quite broad and soft, very supple, I think it’s lacking in structure. Quite easy-drinking, I think it needs more oak or tannins (can’t believe I’m saying it). Starting to open up, looking quite shy for now I guess.
Mostly showing fruit at the moment, really young and a little shy, very dark and full on the nose. Nice texture and sharpness, an interesting tang to it, focus and freshness but will integrate and express more once it is in bottle for a while.
|A barrel at Quinta do Vale Dona Maria|
Quinta do Vallado – 17/07/2012
Vibrant fresh citrus and apple notes, very tight and direct. Brisk intense acids and quite lean and clean fruit, slightly unripe in a really good way, nice green fruit character.
Moscatel Galego Branco 2011
Lovely musky floral notes, clean minerality. Fresh and quite simple, not sure what’s missing in this wine, needs more character, maybe some texture, really make things crazy like skin contact fermentation…
Branco Reserva 2011
Certainly more barrel and lees notes, some creaminess adding to the citrus and lemongrass elements. Very slight green melon notes. White burgundy style, very young and only seeing the barrel elements. Has the structure and acidity to hold out but somewhat closed now.
Nice soft mellow nose of spice and red fruits, very subtle toasty elements, some earth elements as well. Bright fresh red fruits, n and good acids, a little warm on the front of the palate. Very pure and approachable, but lacking a bit of depth.
Deeper characters, slightly closed ripe black fruits, very well integrated oak but slightly rustic wild characters. Amazing texture, finesse and structure, not obvious fruit or tannins, not at all sweet or hot, all about mouth-feel. Truly unique wine, but agree that it is a polariser.
Touriga Nacional 2010
Slightly rosy and a little reductive, very classic touriga nacional on the nose. Wonderfully fresh and vibrant, not at all fruit sweet, showing some red fruits, some menthol and eucalypt notes. Wonderful consistency on the palate, but will soften quite nicely picking up some suppleness.
Expressive yet complex, bold yet subtle, fruit yet oak, young yet mature. Quite intense but also hinting at some suppleness in the future. Oak quite subtle and not interfering too much. Needs time to be sure, but easy to appreciate now. Layers and layers, more with time.
Adelaide VP 2009
Wonderfully floral, bright purple fruits, maraschino cherries, very subtle choc-mint characters. Bingo-bango-bongo expression of fruit, quite sweet at the moment, but a nice clean finish and some good extension on the back of the palate. Beautifully intense but far too young.
10 year old tawny
Smoky caramel, freshness and liveliness. Complex oxidative notes but also very fresh. Certainly exhibits a little bit of the nut characters, but is more about the freshness and the complexity of the age.
20 year old tawny
A little more aggressive on the nose, smoky and toastier, a little volatile on the nose. Sweetness and complexity comes through, but finding the texture a little too full. It almost distracts from the age and complexity.
|Quinta do Vallado uses my favourite cooper, Francois Freres|
Lavradores de Feitoria – 17/07/2012
Tres Bagos Branco 2011
Open clean and pure fruit aromas, some salty leesy notes, slightly toasty and flinty. Initially brisk on the palate, but then quite broad and expressive, textural and ripe with some nice sharp green notes. Good tropical profile, some ripe pear and citrus notes. Body depth, pretty easy drinking stuff.
Meruge Branco 2010 (viuzinho, fermented in Portuguese oak)
Roasted walnut and burnt vanilla aromas, ripe creamy citrus fruit. Soft and subtle, smooth and long, round and very delicate, a lot of complexity and depth. Quite shy and reserved, the oak and ripeness is subduing the wine for now. Hopefully it will open up. A tad overworked.
Tres Bagos Tinto 2008
Nice ripe dark fruit, black olive tapenade, some soy and dark spice elements, ripe but focused fruit. Intense full, warm and ripe but fresh and approachable, good vibrant character with balance and integration. Some appealing warmth on the front fades nicely.
Quinta da Costa das Aguaneiras 2008 (south-facing under 200m)
Quite oaky and robust, sweet toasty smoky, roasted nuts and dried flowers. Really intense and full, but soft and supple on the back. Pretty much cooked wine, too modern and stylised, lacking subtlety but it does have some structure. I’m not sure it will age.
Meruge Tinto 2008 (400m altitude north-facing, tinta roriz made in lagare)
lighter more classic tempranillo colour. Soft light fruit sweet and silky focused tannins, intense bright and focused, fresh but mature ripe fruit and tannins, oak could be paired back perhaps. Good power and structure, but the oak is giving it too much sweetness.
Tres Bagos Grande Escolha 2008
Classic Douro nose, really good expressive dark fruits but the promise of something more that isn’t oak. Old vines, good maturity, low yield, healthy extraction, balance elegance, potential and structure, but drinkable now and into the future. Still quite modern, but very good modern.
Tres Bagos Grande Escolha 2009
Perfect expression of 2009, balance structure, density but ripe and full dark fruit characters. Won’t last as long as 2008, but looking pretty damn good now.
|Lavradores de Feitoria Tres Bagos Grande Escolha 2008|
Quinta do Noval – 16/07/2012
Cedro do Noval (Vinho Regional Duriense (30% syrah, touriga nacional, touriga franca, tinto roriz)
Bright purple colour, intense but not heavy in colour. Bright juicy yet spicy dark fruit aromas, some interesting floral notes. Fresh full-flavoured clean, great acidity and intensity of fruit. Balanced approachable but structured and with personality.
Quinta do Noval Douro DOC 2008
More intense purple, more extraction and depth. Smoky toasty notes of dark berries, more intense and extractive on the nose. Very intense and dark on the palate, but surprisingly fresh and lifted on the palate. Crunchy toast oak adding to texture but not adding any sweetness. Intense but complex elegant and structured. Still a bit tight.
Noval Black Reserve
Soft jubey plummy cassis and blackcurrant. Intense full and spicy warm, fresh finish and balanced alcohol and sweetness, velvety and dense but clean and juicy, well structured and worth ageing a little bit.
Quinta do Noval LBV 2005
Rounder and fuller, sitting more in the mid-palate. Better balance throughout and extension on the back of the palate, slightly more savoury maturity, serious considered port wine, powerful yet haunting.
Noval ten-year old
nice sweet nutty and toasty dry red fruits and carob spice. Bold yet smooth, very casky and nutty in youth, bright and fresh, clean yet complex, balanced and pure. Excellent clarity of purpose.
Noval twenty year old
Denser fuller and more viscous, more subtle nut characters, almost an almond Magnum flavour to it, nice texture. Opulent rich and yet focused and toasty. Not quite enough difference between 10 and 20 in my opinion.
Quinta do Noval 2008 VP
Spicy mulberry clove green pepper notes. Really intense and not sweet, dry full and powerful, broad yet focused and structured, balanced and long on the palate, but obviously far too young and in need of a lot of time in bottle. A wine too early to see much expression.
|Noval Ten Year Old Tawny Port|
Quinta do Vale Meao – 16/07/2012
Wonderfully intense purple colour, very deep. Very aromatic spicy black fruit, concentrated and intense on the nose, complex and somewhat closed at the moment. Very soft supple very focused and nice firm tannins, subtle fruit slightly disagreeing with the nose, balanced and well integrated, supporting oak not influencing at all.
Vale Meao 2009
More rustic earthy stalky and brown on the nose, slightly dusty dark red fruits. More intense and fruit sweet, dark and certainly a big influence of new French oak, persistent and concentrated but elegant and full without weight or heat. Will benefit with some time in bottle.
Vintage Port 2002
Less obviously porty on the nose, nice bright dark red fruit aromas with some very subtle toasty smoky notes. Beautifully tight and concentrated, elegant and balanced with finesse and structure, focus and drive. Not heavy or alcoholic until the very back of the palate, well integrated tannins.
|Oak fermentation vats at Quinta do Vale Meao|
Déjà vu (Douro Valley, Portugal – Day One)
|High above the vineyards of the Douro|