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The wines of Ázeo/Quinta de Săo José, Douro

Ázeo is the project of winemaker Joăo Brito e Cunha (above). Previously winemaker at Lavradores de Feitoria, he now works as a consultant winemaker for a number of producers, including Churchill Estates. He’s been developing his own wines since 2002/3. His aim is to make gastronomic terroir wines with good acidity.

We are learning a lot, says Joăo. ‘The diversity in the Douro is enormous. As you start doing your work, you are learning’. He’s very keen on Viosinho for whites. ‘For me Viosinho could be the most promising white grape variety in the Douro’.

Ázeo Branco 2007 Douro
Mostly Viosinho with some Gouveio and Rabigato; mixed soils, 60 year old vines, fermented in wood. Fresh, bright, pure and crisp with nice minerality and acidity. Very fresh. 88/100

Ázeo Branco Reserva 2007 Douro
Tight, fresh and minerally on the nose. The palate has lovely taut minerality and subtle barrel notes. Really fresh, complex and taut. 91/100

Ázeo Tinto 2005 Douro
With fruit from both the Douro Superior and the Cima Corgo: Joăo wants to combine the ripeness of the Superior with the freshness and structure from the Cima Corgo. Sweet, dense and quite intense with lovely freshness and spiciness. Dense and structured, yet with lovely purity. A powerful, intense, darkly fruited wine. 93/100

Quinta de Săo José 2005 Douro
This is Joăo’s family property, located in front of Romaneira, with north-facing schistous slopes. Beautifully pure, fresh, expressive elegant dark fruits on the nose with good acidity. Deliciously bright and expressive with nice weight, good concentration and real purity. I love the freshness of this wine. 93/100

Wines tasted 11/08  
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

see also: My blog entries on Portuguese wine; tasting notes of Portuguese wines

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