Tag Archives: Quinta de Lemos

The future starts here (Dao, Portugal – Day Two)

Knowing so little about Portuguese wine everything I am experiencing is new to me. With such an objective opinion of wine and the wine industry here, I am open to different ideas and I have been developing some ideas which may or may not be particularly accurate. One of the first things I noticed about wine in Portugal compared to other European countries is that more premium wines tend to be a little more expensive, particularly in restaurants where they have pretty much the same markup as in Australia. The second thing I have noticed is that there is a big difference between commercially produced wines and more premium boutique wines both in terms of quality and volume, but there seems to be a huge gap in the middle with very few medium-sized wineries. The third thing I have noticed is a lack of cooperation between wineries, which I experienced when visiting one winery and them talking in a slightly negative or condescending way about other wineries. Obviously these wines are competing with each other, but perhaps they need to look a little bigger and consider that they are actually competing with other product categories like beer, spirits and countless non-alcoholic beverages. You also can’t ignore the trend for the best Portuguese wines to be consumed within Portugal, with port the only exception. All of these reasons combine to create a situation where very few outside the country know how good the wines are, and as such not much is exported in a profitable way. Hopefully this will change as new groups have been established to promote the wines around the world. The two wineries I visited on my second day in the Dao region are probably the most important for the region in the export markets.

Sandy granitic soils in Dao

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Quinta de Lemos – 12/07/2012

Encruzado 2011 (tank sample)
Quite tropical leesy citrus nose. Good texture and freshness, focus and drive but very young. Fruit needs to open up a bit more.

Dona Santana 2009 (tank sample)
peppery spicy dark fruit, very clean, nice toasty and foresty. Focus drive and consistency of fruit, slightly maderised fruit sweetness, powerful but fresh and light, dense but drinkable.

Alfrocheiro 2009 (tank sample)
Denser and earthier, more in the red fruit spectrum. Looking a little bit hot for now, brisk but fresh tannins and acid, will look good after a year in the bottle.

Touriga Nacional 2009 (tank sample)
Darker fruit and toast elements on the nose. Feeling hot, hot, hot. Slightly out of balance, tannins and fruit aren’t supporting the structure and heat.

Alfrocheiro 2008
Nice juicy dark red fruit nose, very berry and red apple characters. Very expressive, warm at first but softens very quickly and nicely. Showing nice purity and harmony, good fruit sweetness and roundness, intense tannins and with a few more years should look great.

Jaen 2007
Slightly hot nose, looking slightly porty, quite toasty and earthy, really ripe dark fruits. Very focused and quite tight, fairly gentle tannins and supple fruit, good freshness too. Nose note consistent with palate.

Tinta-Roriz 2008
Floral fruit sweet nose of black cherries, plums and chocolate. Full-flavoured, plenty of fruit and generosity of tannin. Not really jumping out at me though, pretty much a solid wine that would never disappoint.

Touriga-Nacional 2007
Robust full fruit and floral nose, powerful yet subtle. Wonderfully soft and silky texture on the palate, not at all heavy. Warming, full flavoured but not overly fruit-sweet, in fact showing some nice savoury characters. Excellent focus and precision through the palate, exceptional ageing potential. Wonderful stuff.

Dona Santana 2006
Slightly talky tight and toasty red fruits, hints of floral notes. Light and fresh, very vibrant fruit and minimal oak. Ageing well, although quite hot on the back. The breadth and softness of tannins has gone, and it is looking quite linear on the palate. Better with food (although aren’t they all?)

Dona Georgina 2005
Bold and expressive, a lot going on in this one; ripe fruits, toasty new oak, some caramel elements, some earth as well. Wonderfully intense, still showing very young and brisk, but opening up beautifully on the back of the palate. Has the potential to stay for a long time in the bottle. Classic wine.

The Quinta de Lemos range

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