Tag Archives: Fonte de Goncalvinho

Terroir hunter (Dao, Portugal – Day One)

The Dao and Bairrada geographical regions are part of the same political region in Portugal known as Beiras. I don’t recommend mentioning that with them, as the two regions couldn’t be more different from each other in a great many ways. Firstly the Dao region is more continental in climate than the Bairrada which is closer to the Atlantic Coast, and thus has more temperature variations between day and night time. Secondly the Dao region is higher in altitude sitting at over 250 m above sea level, whereas the Bairrada isn’t much more than 100m. Thirdly the region works with very different grape varieties; the Dao is much more known for red wines whereas Bairrada produces sparkling wine in high volumes, with red and white wines occupying a smaller piece of the pie. The wine styles are quite different, with the maritime wines of Bairrada being more linear, fresh and crisp and the wines of Dao being fuller and more robust. The final difference is in the landscape itself, as the Dao is much more wild and rugged, reminding me of the Grampians in Victoria where I come from. The Dao is a valley formed over time like a big bowl, and in this protected climate the touriga nacional grape is the undisputed king.
The Intrepid Wino in a medieval lagare in the Dao, Portugal

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Fonte de Goncalvinho – 11/07/2012

Rose 2010 (touriga nacional, tinta roriz)
Nice rosey red fruit nose, kind of plummy and strawberry. Light clean fresh very dry, fairly simple fruit, easy drinking but lacking in character. Some nice tannins, but not really offering much more than that.

Colheita 2009
Nice dark fruits with some subtle spice elements, a little bit of meaty earthy old world, but generally all about the dark fruits. Juicy soft broad fruit sweet, generous approachable. Good quality, very delicate hints of menthol on the back, easy drinking with character. Not sure if I’m seeing the terroir yet.

Tinta Roriz 2010
Quite subtle earthy red fruits, some fungal herbal elements, fairly bright with very dry spice notes. Nice balance and depth, quite complex, some late juicy sweetness, nice savoury on the front with great acidity and persistent tannins throughout.

Inconnu (incognito) 2010 (blend of varieties)
Bolder denser dark fruits, fuller savoury brambly Christmas pudding notes. Full fruit, much darker and sweeter in character, you don’t need to know what it is to know it is good full flavoured, medium-bodied red wine. Wonderful concentration and expression, looking quite young but I can see it being very popular with a wide range of consumers.

Touriga Nacional 2010 (tank sample)
Much darker purple colour. Bright purple fruit nose, plummy cassis blackcurrant, very intense. Soft mellow and full, not heavy but fairly warm. Looking a little astringent at the moment and perhaps a little acidic as it hasn’t completed MLF. Certainly has density and concentration, but somehow missing the fruit. Needs some time after bottling.

The best wine of the tasting from Foncalvinho

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