on Portugal's Dão region
8: Tasting at the Solar
Time was relatively tight on my Dão trip, and I didn’t
have time to visit all the producers who deserved it. Fortunately,
several kindly banded together and put on a tasting for me at the
Solar de Dão in Visieu. Recently renovated to a very high standard it
had just been opened again, and the lack of any signage or visible
signs of activity made it quite a challenge to locate the right room.
An added complication was that this was the night of the European
Champions league Final, when Porto were playing Monaco. As a result,
all the producers were anxious for me to taste their wines quickly so
they could get off to see the game. Some were getting noticeably
twitchy towards the end, as I worked my way religiously round the room
trying to do all the wines justice. In truth, we were quite keen to
get off to the game too – we’d been invited to join the guys at Dão
Sul for a big screen experience in their restaurant. But while I
wasn't utterly blown away by these wines, I was impressed by the
uniformly high standard on show. With just one or two possible
exceptions, they all displayed the Dão characteristics to good
This Quinta with 20 ha of vineyards was purchased in the
1980s by the Uniãl Comercial da Beira, a company established back in
1942. These two examples are very impressive wines. firstname.lastname@example.org
Quinta do Cerrado Touriga Nacional 2000
Lovely depth to the nose: spicy, herby with a
pronounced floral elegance. Very vivid. The palate shows a
great concentration of structured, rich, spicy herby fruit – mainly
black fruits with a lovely richness nicely balanced by the acidity.
This is a structured yet regionally typical wine. Very good/excellent
Quinta do Cerrado Reserva 2001
Vibrant, forward, spicy nose showing rich fruit combined with some
spicy oak. Quite complex and forward. The palate is concentrated and
spicy with vivid fruit and noticeable oak influence. Quite a modern
style but with good structure and typicity. Very good+ 89/100
Coop Vila Nova de Tazem
The wines were presented by Pedro Pereira, the oenologist
here. Two well made, modern-styled wines.
Bright fruity nose – mainly raspberry – with a lovely
freshness to it. The palate is vividly fruited with high acidity and a
lovely juicy character. Sappy, vivid wine. Very good+ 87/100
Savoury, dry dusty nose with vibrant cherryish fruit and some
spice. The palate is juicy and sappy with some spiciness to the
savoury berry fruit. Juicy and vibrant with nice acidity. Tasty in a
medium-weight style. Very good 87/100
From 12 hectares of vines.
Quinta du Corujão Reserva 2001
Lovely forward nose shows bright, spicy cherryish fruit –
perfumed with a herbal edge. The palate is juicy and modern with good
acidity. Very nicely defined and rounded in a mid/lightweight style.
Very good+ 88/100 (2.80 ex cellars)
Quinta du Corujão Garrafeira 2000
Vivid, spicy, oaky nose with some tarriness to the bright red
fruits. The palate has some tarry, spicy fruit together with taut
herbal character. Dry finish with good acidity and some tannins. Very
good+ 86/100 (5.25 ex cellars)
Vale des Escadinhas/SociedadeAgrícola de Silgueiros (Quinta da
A company formed by the merger of two agricultural
families, Vale des Escadinhas has three vineyards in Silgueiros as
well as olives, nuts and a pine plantation. There’s been some
investment in modernizing the winery. The wines are pretty good.
Shown by Pedro Baros Figueiredo (email@example.com)
Quinta da Falorca Tinta Roriz 2002
Good depth on the nose which shows rich, dark fruits with some
spiciness. The palate is rounded and ripe with nice smoothness to the
chewy, herby fruit. There’s some tannic structure here as well as
good acidity. A fresh, herby, cherryish wine with nice fruit quality.
Very good+ 87/100
Quinta da Falorca Touriga Nacional 2002
Quite an expressive herby nose with a tarry, spicy edge to the red
berry fruits. The palate is ripe and quite elegant with a lively
spicy, herby character and juicy fruit. Fresh, vibrant wine with good
acidity in a midweight style. Very good+ 88/100
Agrícola Boas Quintas
(Quinta da Fonte do Ouro)
This quality minded operation was established in 1991, and
is based on 10 hectares of vineyards divided into three plots, two in
Mortágua and one in Nelas. 90% of the vines are red, and half are of
Touriga Nacional. New French oak is used here.
Quinta Fonte do Ouro Tinto 2000
Quite a smooth, ripe, juicy nose with some mintiness. The palate
is modern with a minty oak overlay to the smooth, ripe red fruits.
Very modern and rounded – almost a new world take on Dão. According
to the technical fiche this has 3.2 g/litre residual sugar, which
might explain the rounded fruit character. Very good+ 87/100
Quinta Fonte do Ouro Touriga Nacional 2001
Beguiling modern sweet nose showing ripe herby, minty, menthol
notes along with sweet black fruits. The palate is lively with
powerful sweet ripe fruit and a tarry edge. High acidity. Some
spiciness from the oak, too, with an unusual tangy, acidic finish.
I’m not completely sure about this but it will have lots of fans for
its forward, modern style. Very good+ 88/100
The União das Adegas Cooperativas DO Dão (UDACA) is a union of 10
cooperatives working together, and altogether this group is
responsible for a staggering 60% of all DO Dão wines produced. Both
these wines here were of good quality.
Adro da Sé Reserva 2000 Dão
Modern packaging. Quite a fresh nose, showing subtly herby dark
fruits. The palate is midweight with nice supple fruit (red berries,
cherries) and juicy acidity. A modern style but showing good typicity.
Not big but nice quality of fruit. Very good+ 87/100
Touriga Nacional 1999
Aged in American, French and Russian oak. Dark coloured. Quite a
deep complex nose with a rich, spicy chocolatey edge to the red berry
fruits, and some vanilla notes. The palate is juicy and quite rich
with some spicy complexity to the deep red and black fruits. A modern,
structured take on Touriga Nacional. Works well, if a little oaky.
Very good+ 88/100
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