Tag Archives: Quinta Mendes Pereira

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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Quinta Mendes Pereira – 11/07/2012

Branco Encruzado 2010
Bolder and more expressive nose not of fruit but lees contact and malolactic, slightly tropical creamy fruit. Bolder fuller heavier fruit, quite viscous and rich. More powerful broader riper profile, more in the pineapple region, certainly full but balanced with the alcohol.

Rose 2010 (touriga nacional)
Too bright and very fruity sweet, almost candied. Sweet, sweet, sweet. Volatile and looks cheap, hot, really bad. Not sure what happened with this one.

Tinto 2006
Nice bottle aged notes, some granitic volcanic notes. Slightly wild, but old-world interest, settled down in bottle, showing some savoury notes, really good drinking, particularly with food, unique and impossible to copy. Fantastic old-vine terroir wine.

Touriga Nacional Reserva 2005
Some interesting liquorice red and black fruit aromas, some earthiness and jubey notes. Nice bold full fruit, a bit of tang which adds to the interest. Good acidity, still looking very fresh. A more interesting expression of touriga nacional.

Reserva 2007 (touriga nacional tinta roriz)
Intense focused full yet tight and good grip. A much better treated wine, more gentle and less ripe, better balance and less influence of winery. Pure terroir wine, but perhaps just slightly lacking in fruit.

A Celtic tomb at Quinta Mendes Pereira

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