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The Douro wine revolution
Part 8: Quinta do Vallado

Quinta do Vallado, Vilharinho dos Freires, 5050 Peso da Régua, Portugal
Tel: 254 323 147 Fax: 254 324 326

...After I'd spent the morning at Quinta do Vale D. Maria, Cristiano van Zeller drove me over to Quinta do Vallado, a property he's involved with located near Peso da Régua. We met up with general manager Francisco Ferreira, and over lunch tasted some of the estate's wines. 

Vallado has been in the Ferreira family since 1818. It was substantially renovated in the 1960s by Jorge Maria Cabral Ferreira, and then on his death in 1992 the estate was taken over by his brother in law, Guilherme Álvares Ribeiro. Ribeiro decided to begin producing estate-bottled table wine and Port, so enlisted the help of winemaker Francisco Olazabal (Ribeiro's cousin, and son of Francisco Olazabal who owns Quinta do Vale Meão), nephew Francisco Ferreira (to help with managing the estate) and Cristiano van Zeller (assists with the commercial side of things). 

Christiano van Zeller and Francisco Ferreira, two of the people behind Vallado

Restructuring of the vineyards took place, and now the estate has 64 ha of vines (38 ha old and 26 ha new); this work was completed in 1998. A new winery was also built, finished in 1997. The results so far are pretty impressive.

Quinta do Vallado Branco 2001
First vintage of Branco from the renovated vineyards, 10% of which is fermented in French oak barrels. Quite a fresh, aromatic nose which is very 'modern'. Fruity palate with a herby edge and lots of good acid structure. Surprisingly delicate and aromatic. Very good+

Quinta do Vallado 2000
50% old vines, 50% new vines, no oak. Vivid red purple colour. Very rich nose with striking sweet, liquoricey blackcurrant fruit. Lovely vivid fruit on the palate with good acidity and some tannin. A rich, sweet, soft luscious style but still balanced. Very good+ (this is stocked by Lea & Sandeman in the UK and sells for £6.95)

Quinta do Vallado Reserva 1999
This is the first release of the Reserva and was aged in new Seguin Moreau barrels. Lovely sweet-edged fruit on the nose with a bit of minty, vanillin oak. Lovely palate with good acidity and some tannic structure. Quite savoury with lots of black fruits and a spicy finish. Lovely wine of great concentration in a sweet, rich style. Very good/excellent (retail in UK £12-15)

Inside one of the boob-shaped white concrete tanks, previously used for storage of bulk wine but now adapted as futuristic temperature-controlled barrel stores

Quinta do Vallado Reserva 2000
Aged in a mixture of new and one-year old French oak barrels. The nose is very expressive and displays rich, liquoricey, sweet fruit with warm spicy notes. Really rich, seamless, concentrated palate with more sweet liquoricey fruit and attractive herby complexity. A lush style. Excellent

Quinta do Vallado 10 year old Tawny (1985 vat)
Lovely rich caramel nose with lots of spicy coffee complexity. Massively complex palate is very well integrated. Sweet. Excellent

Quinta do Vallado 10 year old Tawny (1988 vat)
Muted nose with an alcoholic edge. Spicy alcoholic palate without the richness and harmony of the 1985. An interesting contrast.

For tasting notes of more of the estate's wines, see the report of the grand Douro tasting at Chanceileros

For a more recent review (May 2004) of Vallado's wines, see this report