Tag Archives: Lavradores de Feitoria

Alright, still (Douro Valley, Portugal – Day Two)

The shift of focus from fortified port wines to still wines could not have waited much longer in the Douro. The entire fortified wine market has been diminishing since the 1980s as more people have been drinking dry wines all over the world. The limitations of matching port with food don’t help with the accessibility of these wines as well, as there are only so many styles and they are generally sweeter and all more alcoholic. In the past fortified wines were one of the most popular categories – particularly port and sherry wines – and they were even produced as far away as the USA and Australia. The growth of still wine production of course has been seen all over the world to the unfortunate detriment of fortified wines. Thus in an effort to stay alive it was important for the producers of the Douro to explore the opportunities of still wine production, and in a sense it couldn’t have come at a better time. The climate is one of the biggest influences on the style of wine they can produce which is big, rich and red. This style of wine has been popular for about 20 years in a number of key markets around the world, thanks in part to the influence of US wine critic Robert Parker who loves this style of wine. Thus a confluence of factors has provided them a great opportunity into the future. The producers I visited on my second day are some of the most important producers of still wine in the region.
If it weren’t empty I would be making wine angels

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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

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