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The new Douro: part 10
Alves de Sousa/Quinta do Gaivosa

Quinta da Gaivosa, Pousada de Cumieira, Apartado 15, 5030-055, Santa Marta de Panaguião, Portugal
Tel: 351 254 822 111 Fax: 351 254 822 113
E-mail: gaivosa@hotmail.com

Now for something a little different. We move to the rather cooler, wetter Baixo Corgo, and the wines of Alves de Sousa (right), who has five separate estates here: Quinta da Gaivosa, Quinta do Vale da Raposa, Quinta das Caldas, Quinta da Estação and Quinta da Avaleira. Altogether around a 100 hectares under vine – a lot. Initially a winegrower, Alves de Sousa has also been making wine since 1991. Lots of wines to try, and some very scenic vineyards to visit. The wines are honest, if a little lacking in concentration at times. There seems to be a problem here with dilution and achieving phenolic ripeness in some of the wines: are too-high yields to blame? We finished off with lunch at a restaurant with one of the most spectacular views of the Baixo Corgo I’ve yet seen, although this was slightly less fun that it should have been because of the time pressure we were under (it’s a fair drive back to Porto to catch my flight).

Cume Branco 2003
Distinctive, fresh, grassy nose is very herby. The palate is distinctive, fresh and herby. A food style. Very good 82/100

Alves de Sousa Branco de Gaivosa 2002
Very fruity nose with a freshness to it. The palate is quite rounded and herby with a little dried straw-like character. Soft textured and a little toasty from the third of this wine that was aged in barriques. Very good 81/100

Cume Tinto 2002
This is made from grapes from young Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão and Tinta Barocca vines. Fresh, bright, cherryish nose shows bright pure fruit. The palate has high acidity with a fresh, slightly green herbal character. Dry finish: a fresh glugger. Very good 80/100

Quinta da Estação 2002
Green herbal brambly fruit on the nose. Aggressive green herbal flavours on the palate with high acid. Too lean and green. OK. 74/100

Quinta da Estação Colheita Seleccionada 2001
A blend of four grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Barocca and Tinta Roriz. Very fresh, perfumed nose is light and smooth, with slightly sweet red berry fruits. Some subtle spicy richness. The palate is open and herby with supple, light red fruits and a spicy finish. Drinking well now. Very good 82/100

Quinta das Caldas 2002
Pleasant fresh herbal red fruits nose with some subtle spiciness. The palate shows slightly aggressive herbal red fruits with a spicy edge. A savoury food wine. Good/very good 78/100

Quinta do Vale da Raposa 2002 Douro
Pure black and red fruit nose with freshness and some acidity showing. There’s a bit of richness to the herby fruits. Nice, spicy character to the fruit which is a little more generous. Sappy and quite chewy with good acid. Fresh and approachable: a savoury food style. Very good 83/100

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Tinta Barocca 2001
Quite a striking nose: open and herby with some caramel and tar richness. A little disjointed. The palate is midweight with bright, sappy herby red fruits and a spicy structure. Good acid. An unusual wine in a distinctive style. Very good 84/100

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Tinta Cão 2001
Striking, powerfully perfumed nose showing open spicy, herby red fruits. Very unusual. The palate is thin and light with a distinctive open herbal character. Very fresh and fruity with high acidity. It’s unusual, but works in this light, fruity, herbal style, although I’m not a big fan. Very good+ 85/100

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Touriga Nacional 2003
Much better: the nose is typical of the variety – perfumed with vivid cherry and berry fruit and some spice, together with herbal black fruit character. The palate is midweight, supple and herby with a nice spicy edge. Good typicity. A forward fruity style. Very good+ 87/100

Quinta do Gaivosa Vinho de Londelo 2003
Vivid fruity nose of red fruits with a liquoricey edge. The palate shows a nice concentration of supple, spicy fruit. Very clean and pure with some tannins and good acidity. A drinkable midweight style. Very good+ 85/100

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Grande Escolha 2001
Deep coloured. Bright nose of tarry, herby fruit with a tobaccoey, herby fruit. The palate shows midweight fruit: ripe and spicy with good density and some sweetness to it. Savoury and spicy with dark fruits. A ripe style with some herbiness. Very good+ 87/100

Quinta do Gaivosa Alves Sousa Reserva Persoal 1999
Intense dark, spicy menthol and tar nose: deep and a bit old fashioned. The palate is ripe and full with lovely ripe spicy structure, hints of eucalyptus and mint. Soft, herb tinged and rounded; ripe and tarry. A lovely traditional styled wine. Very good+ 89/100

Alves de Sousa Quinta do Gaivosa 2000
Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Touriga Nacional and others, only made in the best years. Intense, deep spicy nose of herbs, tar and smoke with a touch of balsamic vinegar. The palate is ripe and rich with lots of spicy dark fruits and more of that balsamic character. Very savoury and quite traditional. This is an interesting wine with good concentration and a bit of rusticity. Very good/excellent 90/100

Quinta do Gaivosa LBV 1999
Sweet open berry fruit here that’s quite herby. The palate is vivid with a herby streak to the sweet full bodied fruit. Tarry spicy finish. Nice stuff with pure, ripe fruit. Very good+ 88/100

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