jamie goode's wine blog: Tasting the Douro

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tasting the Douro

I'm preparing for tomorrow's New Douro 2005 tasting by drinking some Douro wine. Specifically, tonight's drinking involves a pair of 05s from a Quinta I've no previous experience with, Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo. With a snappy title like that, I guess they like to be referred to as Quinta Nova, although that's confusingly close to Quinta do Noval.

Nova is owned by the Amorim family of cork fame. They have a highly regarded wine hotel at the Quinta. And the wines seem to be made in the right sort of style, tasting of the Douro (or, at least, what I expect the Douro to taste like), without being tricked-up by over-ripeness or too much oak. The packaging is absolutely stunning.

Quinta Nova 'Grainha' 2005 Douro
Very attractively packaged, this relatively modestly priced Douro red has a deep red/purple colour. The nose shows berry and dark cherry fruit with a bit of spice and tar, and leads to a savoury, spicy, quite structured palate with a hint of plummy bitterness on the finish, and just the slightest hint of vanilla sweetness. It's an attractive food friendly wine for drinking now and over the next decade. I like the savouriness. 88/100

Quinta Nova Reserva 2005 Douro
Aromatically fresh and vibrant, this has a really attractive nose of dark cherries, herbs and spices. The palate is really lively, with some classy oak supporting the bright berry and cherry fruit. With nice grippy tannin and fresh acidity, this is a really elegant expression of the Douro that should evolve really nicely for at least a decade. It's almost Bordeaux-like in terms of its structure, if not its flavour profile, which is warmer and spicier. I'd be really interested to see how this wine develops - I reckon it will age well. 91/100

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At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Having just spent the last 2.5 years in Portugal I can testify to the growing stature of Portuguese wines. I wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of the 2005 Reserva. Stunning and a perfect example of how good Portuguese wines can be. Alentejo reds are also particularly good. Only problem is, now I am back in the UK how can I get hold of the 2005 Reserva? Planning a 2 night stay at the Quinta Nova Wine Hotel in Apr to taste the latest offerings.


Glenn Macey


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