The wines of Quinta do Feital
Some lovely ageworthy Alvarinho from Marcial Dorado in Portugal's Vinho Verde


This is Vinho Verde, but not as you know it. Marcial Dorado (above) is a Spaniard, from Galicia, who loves Albariño. But he realised that some of the best Albariño vineyards are over the border, in Portugal, where the variety is known as Alvarinho. His Quinta do Feital vineyard has 70 year old vines, many ungrafted, and he manages it organically. He’s also bought a new vineyard in a great site at Seixas, with young vines – currently these are used to make the Auratus wine. 

‘Alvarinho has structure and acidity and can age,’ says Marcial Dorado. He’s convinced of this (although few in the region make wines for ageing), and his wines prove it. Even the 2001 is still so fresh and pure (pictured below in decanter). ‘Old Alvarinho typically goes to asparagus when you first open it,’ says Marcial, suggesting that this is a reduction character, ‘and then to marmalade.’

‘We are working with an amazing variety and and amazing area,’ he says. ‘Nature always knows what to do, even in 2006, a low acid year.’

These are really compelling wines, made with natural fermentations and some lees stirring. Marcial has also made his first unsulfured wines: he did this in 2004, 2006 and 2008, but none have been commercialized yet.

UK agent is Indigo wines.


(date of tasting indicated in month/year format)

Quinta do Feital Dorada Alvarinho Superior 2009 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Full yellow colour. Very stylish wine with grapefruit, tangerine, pear and peach notes. Fresh and mineral yet quite rich with it. This has texture and precision: a serious effort. 92/100 (01/14)

Quinta do Feital Auratus 2011 Vinho Verde, Portugal
100% granite soils, younger vines, a blend of Alvarinho and Trajadura, 6 months on lees. Fine, fresh, bright and yet textured with nice depth of pear and white peach fruit. 90/100 (05/12)

Quinta do Feital Dorado Alvarinho Superior 2009 Minho, Portugal
This spends a year on lees and is designed for ageing. Appley, nutty and rounded with lovely weight and texture. There are some oxidative notes but it’s still fresh, with broad, smooth texture. So fine. 92/100 (05/12)

Quinta do Feital Dorado Alvarinho Sin Sulphuro 2008 Minho, Portugal
No added sulfites. This was made in 2004 and 2006 as well, but hasn’t been commercialised yet. Powerful and lively with apple, citrus and some nuts. Fresh apple and pear characters. Interesting with a real mineral dimension, showing richness and freshness in tandem. 93/100 (05/12)

Quinta do Feital Dorado Alvarinho Superior 2005 Minho, Portugal
Complex nut, pear and citrus nose. The palate is fresh and lively with some toast and fresh pear fruit. Mineral too. Just lovely. 93/100 (05/12)

Quinta do Feital Dorado Alvarinho Superior 2001 Minho, Portugal
Lovely melon, peach and pear fruit. Textured and broad with nice depth and a hint of honey, as well as pure citrus notes and mineral freshness. This has aged beautifully. 92/100 (05/12)

See also:

Visiting Soalheiro, leading Vinho Verde producer
Visiting Vinho Verde (series)

Wines tasted as indicated  
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