Port is what most of us think of when it comes to Portuguese wine. However there are some very good dry wines from the Douro, and most cost less than $20. At a tasting and Lunch sponsored by The Wine Media Guild 26 wines from the Douro that are imported into the US were represented. There were 3 white and 23 red wines.
The speakers were Pedro Lopes Vieira, sales manager North America, Esporao and Jeffrey Ghi, Distributor of Quevedo wines in the U.S. They were very informative about a wine region where my knowledge is very limited. The point both of them made was that these wines exist in the shadow of port, and it is only now that the port houses have begun in earnest to make and promote these wines.
I am writing this blog because I think these wines are a great value. I could not believe the price to quality ratio. They are all very well made and I really liked all of the following wines.
Vinho Oscar Quevedo Oscar’s 2011, 55% Viosinho, 35% Rabigato and 10% Gouvelo. Quevedo is a port house, as are most of the others, but now also makes white and red dry wines. I was very impressed with this wine; it is aromatic with hints of apple and pear and floral notes. $10
Vinho Oscar Quevedo Oscar’s 2009 made from 60% Touriga Nacional and 40% Tinta Roriz. This wine has good fruit with hints of strawberry, dried herbs and good minerality. $10Quinta dos Murcas Assobio 2009 Made from Touriga, Truriga Franca and Tinta Morcas. Temperature controlled fermentaton. 20% of the wine is aged in new and used barrels of French and American oak for 6 months. The wine was bottled in November 2010. It has good red fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of violets. $13
Adriano Ramos-Pinto Duas Quintas 2010 The wine is made from 40% Touriga, 40% Tinta Roriz and 20% Touriga Nacional. The grapes are picked by hand, pressed, destemmed and fermented in steel vats. Maceration for a long as needed. After malolactic fermentation is completed, 20% of the wine is aged in French oak barrels. The rest remains in steel vats and the wine is bottled 18 months later. This is a wine with very nice fruit flavors of blackberries and cherries with a floral hint, long finish and nice aftertaste. $ 11Dow Vale do Bomfim 2009 The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in used American oak for one year. As we all know, Dow is a leading producer of port but has done an excellent job with this wine. The wine had black fruit aromas and flavors with hints of black cherry, blackberries and spice. $12
Quinto do Castro 2010 made from Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. The grapes are hand picked and placed in small plastic crates. Temperature controlled and pumping over with hand pumps. Each variety is vinified separately. Before destemming they pass through a conveyor belt in order to select the best grapes. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel. After 7 days at controlled temperatures the skins are pressed with a basket press in order to extract soft and round tannins. 90% of the wine is aged is stainless steel and 10% in French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine was bottled in March 2012. It has flavors and aromas of dark fruit with a touch of spice. $12
PV Duoro 2009 This wine is made from many different grape varieties. The grapes are coferemented as a field blend in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast and aged in seasoned oak barrels for a short time before being bottled $11
Quinta de Roriz Pranzo de Roriz 2009 Made from 36%Tinta Barroca, 31%Tinta Roriz, 10%Tinta Francisca, 9%Touriga Nacional, 9%Tinta Franca and 5% other grapes. The grapes are hand picked and manually sorted.
They are inoculated with selected yeasts. Maceration is achieved by pumping over. The wine is aged in 400 liter French oak barrels and was bottled in March 2011. The wine had nice fruit aromas and flavors with hints of cherry and raspberry with a hint of spice in the finish. $16
Uinta do Popa Touriga Nacional 2008. Produced from vines over 60 years old – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz and Sousao. The wine was aged in 225 liter French oak barrels for 4 months. It has nice red fruit flavors and aromas, an easy drinking wine. $12