Tag Archives: Quinta do Vale Dona Maria

Extremes (Douro, Portugal – Day Three)

Considering there are about 44,000 hectares of vineyards planted you can imagine the size of the region and the range of terroirs, so there are a myriad of opportunities for different expressions. There are so many elements of the Douro that are taken for granted in many other regions well-known for super-premium wines, such as very old vines, steep slopes and thousands of  different vineyard owners. Something that they haven’t had in the past was wine that was designated as a single estate or vineyard, something that is so common in places like Burgundy, Mosel and Alba. The Douro Boys are at the forefront of raising the Douro Valley to the same level as such iconic regions, highlighting the aspects generally regarded as of the highest quality. They are also attempting to differentiate the Douro through the very traditional elements like the great range of varieties planted often in a field blend, and the fermentation and maceration of red wines in lagares mostly made of stone. Having the abilities and technology to much better understand their terroirs, varieties and wines there is very little to stop Douro wines in the future.
Amazing vineyards at Quinta do vale Dona Maria

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Winery Visits

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.

CV 2010
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

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes