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Portugal: Small But Mighty in the World of Wine

2012 October 17


terraced vineyards typical of Portugal’s Douro region

For a relatively tiny country—smaller in area than the state of Kentucky–Portugal is a prodigious producer of wine. It has long been the source of some of the wine world’s great fortified wines—Port from the Douro and vintage Madeira from the island of Madeira off the coast of North Africa. Since the country’s entry into the European Union in 1986, Portugal has also increasingly become a source for great dry whites and reds, as well as some very good sparkling wines.

Like Greece, Portugal is home to an incredible number of indigenous varieties—at least 250. The vast majority of Portugal’s wines are still made from these native grapes, and they provide character and interest to the country’s many very well made wines.

In the Douro alone, where Port and great dry reds are made, there are over 100 different red and white grapes planted. Traditionally vineyards here were planted to mixed varieties. In recent years, however, the various grapes of this area have been intensively studied, and five have been identified as of primary importance: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz (known as Tempranillo in the rest of the world) and Tinta Cão. All of these play a role in Port production and dry reds, but Touriga Nacional is widely considered to make the most complex and structured wines.

Other important red grapes include Baga, the source of dry, ageworthy reds and sparkling wines from the Bairrada region; Castelão, the most widely planted red grape in southern Portugal; and Trincadeira, which is usually blended into complex dry reds in several Portuguese regions.

Fernao Pires is the most widely planted white variety. Its floral, fragrant juice is used for everything from sparkling wine and dry whites to sweet wines. Other major white grapes include Alvarinho, the high acid grape that is often blended with Loureiro and Trajadura in the refreshing, crisp, low alcohol summer quaffers called Vinho Verde. Arinto is another high acid variety that is widely planted, and bottled either on its own or in blends. Encruzado is growing in plantings, and makes elegant, full bodied whites that benefit from oak aging.


Wines of Portugal trade tasting in San Francisco

I visited Portugal a few years back and have fortunate to be able to attend extensive Portuguese trade tastings held in San Francisco on a regular basis, like the one sponsored by Wines of Portugal this past June. Every time I attend one of these tastings, I discover new producers, excellent wines and many astounding values, like delicious whites and reds selling for less than $10.

My favorite producers of sparkling wines from Portugal, which can be delicious and flavorful values, are Luis Pato and Quinta da Romeira. My favorite dry whites, including excellent Vinho Verdes, have come from Adega Coop. de Ponte de Lima, Casca, Colinas de São Lourenço, Quinta da Romeira, Quinta de Sant’Ana, Senhoria, Terras d’Alter and Wine & Soul.

Great dry reds are plentiful, at all price points. Barca Velha was the first Portuguese dry red to score high ratings, which led to lots more dry red production in the Douro in the past few decades. Their wines, and those of Quinta do Vale Meão which I wrote about here, have long since achieved cult status and are very hard to find. Casa Ferreirinha’s Quinta da Leda, Herdade da Malhadinha’s reds, Niepoort’s Redoma and Terras d’Alter Telhas are also delicious, rich reds at moderate prices. And then there are ridiculous values—surprisingly complex wines for under $15, like Dow’s Vale do Bomfim and any of several single varietal reds and blends from Bacalhôa Vinhos.


dry reds from the Douro from the Symington Family

As far as sweet and fortified wines, I’ve already written extensively here about the great wines of Madeira, including some relative values. Ports continue to be undervalued given their high quality and ageability. The great producers include Quinta do Noval, Taylor, Fonseca, Dow and Graham, but there are many, many others. Two good values in this area are Ferreira’s Porto Dona Antónia Reserva, which is widely available for less than $20, and Quinta do Noval’s Black, which I’ve seen many places for $14 to $18.

A sweet Portuguese wine with a long history that is much less well known here is Moscatel de Setúbal. These are made on a small peninsula located 20 miles south of Lisbon. The primary grape for the white version is known elsewhere as Muscat of Alexandria; for the red, it’s a purple muscat, Moscatel Roxo. The wine may also include up to 30% of 12 other indigenous grapes.

The wines are fortified, much like Port or Madeira, but the distinctive aspect of their production is very long periods of maceration on the grape skins—up to six months. This gives the wines intense aromatics. Like port, they can either be vintage dated or non-vintage blends from several vintages. The primary producer is J.M. Fonseca. The oldest I’ve had to date was a 1962, which had an intoxicating, Cointreau-like nose. Younger bottlings can be found for $12 or less.

For my complete tasting notes on 116 wines tasted at the Wines of Portugal event, including additional details on particular producers, see below.

2012 WINES OF PORTUGAL ANNUAL GRAND TASTING – San Francisco, California (6/4/2012)

I tasted 116 wines at this event, from over 35 producers. The standout producers for me, with one or more wines I rated 91 points or higher, were Bacalhôa, Colinas de São Lourenço, Companhia das Quintas, Esporão, J. Portugal Ramos, Monte da Raposinha, Senhoria, Symington Family, Terras d’Alter, Vieira de Sousa and Wine & Soul.

The top white wines for me, which I rated 91 points or higher, were 2011 Terras d’Alter Alvarinho (91 points), 2010 Senhoria Vinho Verde (91 points) and 2010 Wine & Soul Guru (91 points). The top sparkling wine for me was 2007 Colinas de São Lourenço Bairrada Reserva (91 points).

The top Ports at this tasting, deserving of 91 points or more, were 2009 Dow Douro Vale do Bomfim (92+ points), NV Graham Porto 20-year Tawny (91 points), 2009 Vieira de Sousa Porto (92 points) and NV Vieira de Sousa Porto Branco 10 Anos (91+ points).

The best red wines for me at this event were:
2008 Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal Cabernet Sauvignon Setúbal Quinta da Bacalhôa – 91 points
2007 Colinas de São Lourenço Bairrada Principal Reserva – 91 points
2009 Companhia das Quintas Douro Fronteira Reserva – 91+ points
2009 Esporão Alentejo Reserva – 91+ points
2010 J. Portugal Ramos Alentejo Vila Santa Reserva – 91 points
2008 Monte da Raposinha Vinho Regional Alentejano Furtiva Lagrima – 91 points
2009 Monte da Raposinha Athayde Grande Escolha – 91 points
2009 Quinta de Roriz Douro Prazo de Roriz – 91+ points
2009 Terras d’Alter Alicante Bouschet Terra d’Alter – 91 points
2010 Terras d’Alter Touriga Nacional Terra d’Alter – 91 points
2009 Fado Terras de Alter Reserva – 91+ points
2009 Terras d’Alter Telhas – 93 points
2009 Wine & Soul Pintas – 92+ points

Adega de Borba

Aliança

Bacalhôa


There were some good wines in this lineup from Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal, SA, which was originally founded in 1922. In 2008 they became a major shareholder in Aliança, which produces sparkling and table wines, and acquired Quinta do Carmo from the Group Lafitte Rothschild. They own about 1000 hectares of vineyards.

Barão de Nelas

Carmim

  • 2010 Carmim Reguengos – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo, Reguengos
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, tart currant nose; tart currant palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira, Aragonez and Castelao) (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Carmim Alentejo Monsaraz – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Medium cherry red color; spicy, tart cherry, red fruit nose; tart cherry, tart red fruit palate; medium finish (86 pts.)

Casa da Passarela

  • 2008 Casa da Passarela Dão Reserva – Portugal, Beiras, Dão
    Very dark ruby color; tart berry, tart plum nose; tart berry, tart plum palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Jaen) (89 pts.)

Casa Ermelinda Freitas

Casa Santos Lima

Colinas de São Lourenço (Ideal Drinks)

Companhia das Quintas


Companhia das Quintas (which translates as “The Estates Company”) has become one of Portugal’s largest wine and spirits companies since its founding in 1999.

  • 2009 Companhia das Quintas Douro Fronteira Reserva – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; ripe berry, ripe black fruit nose; tasty, ripe black fruit, ripe berry, vanilla palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barroca) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Companhia das Quintas Quinta do Cardo Grande Escolha – Portugal, Beiras, Beira Interior
    Very dark purple red violet color; violets, tart plum, black fruit nose; plush, tart black fruit, plum palate; medium-plus finish (18-20 mos in new French oak; blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Companhia das Quintas Bucelas Morgado de Sta. Catherina – Portugal, Estremadura, Bucelas
    Light yellow color; ripe quince, peach nose; ripe quince, peach palate; medium-plus finish (10 mos in French oak) (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Herdade da Farizoa Alentejo Grande Escolha – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Very dark purple red violet color; tart berry, tart plum, tar nose; tart berry, tart plum, tar palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Quinta de Pancas Touriga Nacional Reserva – Portugal, Estremadura, Vinho Regional Estremadura
    Very dark ruby color; deep, tart berry, tart black fruit nose; tart black fruit, tart berry, French oak palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • 2006 Quinta da Romeira Bucelas – Portugal, Estremadura, Bucelas
    Light golden yellow color with small bubbles; tart quince nose; tart quince, lime palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Eminência

  • 2010 Eminência Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; floral, tart pear nose; floral, tart peach, tart pear palate; medium finish 90+ points (90 pts.)

Esporão

The Esporão S.A. Group is another leading, privately owned Portuguese producer of wines and olive oils. They own both Herdade do Esporão and Quinta dos Murças.

Herdade da Calad

  • 2006 Herdade da Calada Vinho Regional Alentejano JCM – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Medium dark red violet color; maturing, spicy, redolent, dried cherry nose; tart berry, tar palate; medium-plus finish (60% Alfrocheiro, 20% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Caiada, 10% Trincadeira) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Herdade da Calada Alentejo – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Dark ruby color; menthol, tart cherry nose; menthol, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (blend of Touriga Nacional and Syrah) (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Herdade da Calada Vinho Regional Alentejano Block No 3 – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Dark cherry red color; redolent, dried berry, red berry nose; dried berry, red berry palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Syrah) (89 pts.)

Herdade dos Grous

Herdade Grande

  • 2008 Herdade Grande Reserva – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Very dark ruby color; baked berry, baked plum, spice nose; tasty, baked berry, baked plum, spice palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Aragonez and Cabernet Sauvignon) (90 pts.)

J. Portugal Ramos

João Portugal Ramos is a longtime consulting oenologist who started planting vines for this project in Alentejo in 1990. Between his own vineyards and those on long term contract, he sources from 300 hectares for his wines. He started the Duorum project more recently with his childhood friend and fellow consulting oenologist José Maria Soares Franco.

  • 2010 João Portugal Ramos Passa Branca – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Light yellow color; tart orange, tart peach, tart pear, tart citrus nose; tart orange, tart pear, tart peach, tart citrus palate; medium finish (blend of Rubigato and Carinho) (88 pts.)
  • 2011 João Portugal Ramos Alentejo Loios – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Light yellow color; tart pear, tart citrus nose; tart pear, tart citrus palate; medium finish 87+ points (blend of Roupeiro and Rabo de Ovelha) (87 pts.)
  • 2011 João Portugal Ramos Alentejo Marquês de Borba – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Dark ruby color; appealing, violets, tart berry nose; tasty, tart berry, violets, tart currant palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon) (89 pts.)
  • 2010 João Portugal Ramos Alentejo Vila Santa Reserva – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Dark ruby color; redolent, baked berry, baked plum nose; tasty, baked berry, baked plum palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Aragonez, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 João Portugal Ramos Vinho Regional Alentejano Marquês de Borba Reserva – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Dark ruby color; redolent, tart berry, plum, cedar nose; soft, tart berry, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Trincadeira, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet) (90 pts.)
  • 2011 Duorum Douro Tons de Duorum – Portugal, Douro
    Very light yellow color; tart citrus, very tart peach nose; tart citrus, mineral palate; medium finish (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Duorum Douro Colheita – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; bright, tart plum, tart red berry nose; tasty, fresh, tart plum, tart red berry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Duorum Douro Old Vines Reserva – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; tar, tart black fruit nose; tar, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Sousao) (90 pts.)

Júlio Bastos (Don Maria)

Monte da Raposinha


This is a relatively new, family owned producer based in the north of Alentejo. They started planting vineyards in 2004 and producing wines in 2007. Raposinha means “little fox,” which was the nickname the owner’s father, Pedro de Sousa, gave his daughter when she was a child.

  • 2010 Monte da Raposinha Vinho Regional Alentejano – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Dark ruby color; redolent, baked plum, black fruit nose; tasty, soft, tart black fruit, tar palate; medium finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Aragones, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Trincadeira) (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Monte da Raposinha Vinho Regional Alentejano Furtiva Lagrima – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Dark ruby color; cedar, tart black fruit, baked berry nose; tasty, baked berry, black fruit, cedar palate; medium-plus finish (1/3 each Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Syrah) (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Monte da Raposinha Vinho Regional Alentejano Athayde Reserva – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Light yellow color; tangy, tart peach nose; juicy, creamy textured, tart peach, ripe pear palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Chardonnay and Arinto; 6 mos in oak) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Monte da Raposinha Athayde Grande Escolha – Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, baked berry, plum, black cherry nose; tasty, fresh, black cherry, berry, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (12 mos in new and 2nd yr French and American oak; blend of Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Aragones) (91 pts.)

Monte Seis Reis

Poema

  • 2009 Poema Alvarinho Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; smoke, tart lime, quinine nose; smoke, tart lime, quinine palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)

Quanta Terra

  • 2009 Quanta Terra Grande Reserva – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; aromatic, berry, violets nose; tasty, ripe cherry, berry, violets palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (Touriga Nacional and Sousao) (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Quanta Terra Douro Terra a Terra Reserva – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; ripe red berry, tart cherry nose; ripe red berry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) (88 pts.)

Quinta da Aveleda

Quinta da Cortezia

Quinta da Pedra

  • 2010 Quinta da Pedra Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; tart citrus, mineral nose; tart citrus, mineral palate; medium finish (89 pts.)

Quinta do Casal da Coelheira

  • 2010 Quinta do Casal da Coelheira Reserva – Portugal, Ribatejano, Ribatejo
    Dark ruby color; fresh, tart berry, black currant nose; tasty, fresh, tart berry, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Cabernet Sauvignon) (90 pts.)
  • 2011 Quinta do Casal da Coelheira – Portugal, Ribatejano, Vinho Regional Tejo
    Light medium yellow color; peach nose; tart peach, citrus palate; medium finish (blend of Fernao Pires and Arinto) (87 pts.)
  • 2011 Quinta do Casal da Coelheira Reserva – Portugal, Ribatejano, Vinho Regional Tejo
    Light yellow color; peach, apple nose; tart peach, lemon palate; medium finish (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Quinta do Casal da Coelheira Mythos – Portugal, Ribatejano, Vinho Regional Tejo
    Very dark ruby color; focused, ripe berry, cinnamon, tart black fruit nose; tart black fruit, tart berry, cedar palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Cabernet Sauvignon) (90 pts.)

Quinta do Passadouro (Niepoort)

Reguengo de Melgaço

  • 2011 Reguengo de Melgaço Alvarinho – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; tart citrus, ripe grapefruit nose; tart citrus, ripe grapefruit, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (90 pts.)

Royal Palmeira

Senhoria

  • 2010 Senhoria Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; mineral, chalk nose; tart lemon, tart peach, chalk palate; medium finish (91 pts.)

Sogrape

  • 2009 Vinhos Sogrape Douro Callabriga – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; tart cherry, tart red berry nose; tasty, tart cherry, red berry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points (blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Alfrochiero Preto) (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; tart peach nose; tart peach, citrus palate; medium finish (88 pts.)
  • NV Gazela Vinho Verde Rosé – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light orange pink color; tart currant nose; tasty, ripe currant, tart cherry palate; medium finish (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Grao Vasco Dão – Portugal, Beiras, Dão
    Medium dark cherry color; oak, tart cherry nose; oak, tart cherry palate; medium finish (84 pts.)

Symington Family

This is the leading family in the Douro, where they own 2,200 acres of vineyards. Their major Port brands include Graham, Dow, Cockburn and Warre, but they’ve also been making increasingly good dry whites and reds, like the Altano.

  • NV Warre Porto Warrior – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Dark ruby color; tart berry, black cherry nose; rich, tart berry, black cherry, cherry syrup palate, lacking structure; medium-plus finish 88+ points (88 pts.)
  • NV Graham Porto 20-year Tawny – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Light medium brown color with pale meniscus and ruby lights; coffee, walnut nose; tart coffee, walnut, fig palate; long finish (91 pts.)
  • NV Cockburn Porto Special Reserve – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Dark cherry red color; ripe cherry, baked cherry nose; rich, baked cherry, baked raspberry palate; long finish (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Dow Douro Vale do Bomfim – Portugal, Douro
    Dark ruby color; lifted, tart cherry, black raspberry, wild berry nose; tasty, tart berry, tart black raspberry, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points (blend of Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Cao; excellent value at $12) (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Quinta de Roriz Douro Prazo de Roriz – Portugal, Douro
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, ripe berry, black raspberry, deep black fruit nose; tight, tart black fruit, tart black cherry palate; needs 4 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Symington Douro Altano – Portugal, Douro
    Dark ruby color; brooding, tart cherry, tart plum, tar nose; refined, tart cherry, tart berry palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca) (90 pts.)

Terras d’Alter


Terras d’Alter is a relatively new project based in Fronteira in the Alto Alentejo. They own three vineyards which supply most of the grapes they need. The reserva white and red are based on grapes from older vineyards and see extended barrel aging. Peter Bright is the partner in charge of winemaking.

Vallegre

Vallegre Vinhos do Porto, S.A., is owned by the Cunha Barros family. They purchased Quinta da Vista Alegre in 1965, and they now own three quintas, comprising a total of 100 hectares of vineyards. Portions of Quinta da Vista Alegre are over 75 years old. They sold to other shippers until 1988, when they started bottling and sell wines under their own name.

Vera

  • 2011 Vera Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Light yellow color; tart citrus, tart peach nose; tasty, tart citrus, tart peach palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Vera Alvarinho – Portugal
    Light yellow color; tart peach nose; tart peach, citrus palate; medium finish (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Vera Vinho Regional Minho – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Regional Minho
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart currant nose; tart cherry, cranberry, currant palate; medium-plus finish (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Agricultura Alentejo – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo
    Dark ruby color; tart currant nose; tart currant palate with medium acidity; medium finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira and Aragones) (87 pts.)

Vieira de Sousa



Vieira de Sousa was a new name in Port for me, but the Vieira de Sousa family has apparently been producing Port wines since the 1700s. The Sociedade Roncao Pequeno, Lda., was created to continue this production and to expand marketing efforts. I was quite impressed by the vintage Port and white Port from this producer. Luisa Borges is a descendant of the Vieira de Sousa family and the latest winemaker.

  • 2009 Vieira de Sousa Porto – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Opaque purple red violet color; lifted, baked berry, berry, rich black fruit nose; tasty, poised, ripe berry, black fruit, tart black fruit, tar palate; needs 5-6 years; long finish (blend of Touriga Nacional, Barroca and Touriga Franca) (92 pts.)
  • NV Vieira de Sousa Porto Tawny 10 Anos – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Medium red brown color; baked plum, tart fig nose; tart fig, dried black fruit palate; long finish 90+ points (90 pts.)
  • NV Vieira de Sousa Porto Branco 10 Anos – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Light medium orange color; peat, smoky, walnut, burnt almond nose; dry, walnut, smoky, almond palate; long finish 91+ points (91 pts.)
  • NV Vieira de Sousa Porto Ruby Reserve – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Very dark ruby color; lifted, baked berry, black cherry nose; tasty, approachable, tart black cherry, berry, black fruit palate; long finish (89 pts.)
  • NV Vieira de Sousa Porto Dry White – Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Light medium orange color; almond, baked orange nose; oily textured, almond, baked orange palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Rabigato, Verdelho and Viosionho) (90 pts.)
  • 2011 Espinhal de Cima Douro Branco – Portugal, Douro
    Light yellow color; tart peach, citrus nose; tasty, tart citrus, tart peach palate; medium-plus finish (blend of Rabigato, Verdelho and Viosionho) (89 pts.)

Wine & Soul


This project was started almost 10 years ago by Jorge Serôdio Borges and his wife Sandra Tavares da Silva, who wanted to showcase the traditional varieties of the Douro in their dry wines.

  • 2010 Wine & Soul Douro Guru – Portugal, Douro
    Light yellow color; Semillon and oak nose; very tasty, oily textured, tart citrus, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (7 mos in French oak) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Wine & Soul Douro Pintas Character – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, ripe berry, baked berry, black fruit nose; tasty, plush, ripe berry, tart plum palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Wine & Soul Douro Pintas – Portugal, Douro
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, baked berry, baked plum, violets nose; delicious, violets, berry, baked berry, baked plum palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points (92 pts.)
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