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New Douro 2004 tasting
Three more producers: Vallado, Xisto and Macedos

Vineyards at Vallado 

Quinta do Vallado
Quinta do Vallado, Vilarinho dos Freires, 5050-364 Peso da Rťgua, Portugal
Website: www.quintadovallado.com

Vallado is on a bit of a roll. Itís operated by the sixth generation of the Ferriera family (related to the famous Dona Antůnia), and in 1998 the vineyards were restructured dramatically: 38 hectares of the 64 under vine are newly planted, while 26 hectares of the best old vineyards were kept. The winery was also modernized at this time. The result? Impressive, modern-styled fruit driven wines. Particularly interesting is the varietal Sous„o: itís the only one Iím aware of from the Douro.

Quinta do Vallado 2004
Fresh, supple sweet dark fruits nose. Nice dark fruits dominate the clean, fruity palate. A nice wine with good freshness. Very good+ 88/100

Quinta do Vallado Reserva 2004 (cask sample)
Very deep colour. Beautifully focused dark fruits nose which is quite rich and bold. Intense, bold, sweetly fruited palate retains its focus. Lovely.Very good/excellent 92/100

Quinta do Vallado Sous„o 2004 (cask sample)
Sous„o is a grape variety that belongs to a select band of grapes that have coloured flesh as well as skins, known as teinturiers (another well known example is Alicante Bouschet). Incredible colour. Dark, intense fruity nose with lovely fruitiness and a fresh edge. Intense, bold, rustic, spicy palate. Really wild stuff. Very good/excellent 91/100  

A collaboration between the Roquettes of Quinta do Crasto and Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch-Bages, Xisto is named after the Portuguese term for the predominant Douro soil type: schist.

Xisto 2004
Supple, smooth elegant dark fruits nose: sweet and rounded, with a tarry edge. Smells ambitious. The palate is smooth and sweetly fruited, with good concentration and a touch of new oak. A well behaved, rounded sort of wine that is quite supple. Itís the Douro tamed: thereís no wildness here. While itís not really my thing, itís very nice in this style. Very good/excellent 91/100

Quinta de Macedos
Quinta de Macedos, Sarzedinho, 5130 Ervedosa do Douro, Portugal

Macedos is an old vineyard in the Rio Torto valley that was purchased by Paul and Philippa Reynolds in 1998. There are just under 7 hectares of old vines (planted in 1920 and 1945), which are tended organically. The vineyard has bits that face north, west and east, and its elevation is between 100 and 200 metres (quite low, which in the Douro means very warm). The grapes are hand picked, foot trodden and vinified traditionally. New Allier oak is used for maturation. These are remarkable, individual wines that are among the richest, sweetest and ripest of all Douro table wines. In their style, they are excellent.

Quinta de Macedos Vinha Velha 2004
Very deep coloured.
Very ripe and sweet with lush dark fruits: almost over the top. Itís concentrated and a bit Port-like, showing soft jammy fruit and ripe tannins. Moreish, and an excellent wine in this style. Very good/excellent 93/100

Lagar de Macedos Vinha Velha 2004
Very dark colour. Smooth, dark, rich nose with lush liqueur-like fruit. Very ripe and sweet raspberry and blackberry jam palate. Another lush, moreish wine. Very good/excellent 91/100

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Wines tasted 05 and 07/06
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