The wines of Quinta da Raza 
From Portugal's Vinho Verde region

Quinta da Raza, Veade Ė Peneireiros, 4890-571 Celorico de Basto, Portugal
Tel/fax : +351 255 368 092

Josť Diogo Teixeira Coelho is a grape grower and winemaker in Peneireiros, in the Vinho Verde region of northern Portugal, and his vineyards have been in the family since the 17th century. Altogether, there are 40 hectares of vines here (which for the Vinho Verde region, with its fragmented ownership, is quite a lot) and a range of wines are made, under two labels: there are the Quinta wines, and also a brand called Dom Diogo.

Great effort has been made to give these wines a modern feel. The packaging is very colourful and quite attractive, with nice simple design. I was sent them to taste specifically to comment on their suitability to the UK marketplace, so what do I think?

I like the wines, although the spritz that many of them contain, from high levels of dissolved carbon dioxide, will be a bit off-putting to some who arenít familiar with wines from Vinho Verde, many of which show this character. I think it is quite attractive, and gives the wines a freshness and zip, but for export markets such as the UK it could be problematic. The clean fruit flavours these wines show are very attractive.

The packaging is almost there. The label design is clean and trendy, but for export markets it needs some tweaking. The fact that these wines are Portuguese is clearly important, but isnít at all obvious from the label. The bottle shape is unorthodox, and for the UK it is best to stick to a standard bottle shape. And the plastic capsules look cheap.

But these wines could work well in the UK, if the price is right.   

Quinta da Raza Vinho Verde Branco 2009
11.5% alcohol. Spritzy. Very fresh, precise and bright with tangy citrus and grapefruit character. Savoury and fresh with high acidity. Light, zippy and pure. 86/100

Quinta da Raza Alvarinho/Trajadura Grande Escolha 2009
Quite richly fruited with melon and pear notes as well as some carbon dioxide adding freshness. Nicely textured with good balance between the fruit and acidity. Grapey, rich and quite delicious. 89/100

Dom Diogo Alvarinho 2009 Minho
13.5% alcohol. Powerful stuff, with a smoky, mineral edge to the citrus and pear fruit nose. The palate is limey and flinty with pear and herb notes. A distinctive white with real personality. Intense and food-friendly, this is quite challenging. 90/100

Dom Diogo Azal Vinho Verde Colheita Seleccionada 2009
12.5% alcohol. Spritzy. Fresh and bright with zippy fruit: lemons and a bit of grape, kept fresh by the spritziness. Distinctive with nice acidity. 87/100

Dom Diogo Arinto 2009 Vinho Verde
13% alcohol. Slightly spritzy. Fresh, lemony, fruity nose leads to an attractively fruity palate with grape, melon and lemon fruit and some bite from the carbon dioxide. Appealingly crisp. 86/100

Dom Diogo Touriga Nacional Rosť 2009 Minho
13.5% alcohol. Deep pink/red colour, and a little frizzante. Fresh, a bit spicy, and with lively acidity under the juicy bright plum and strawberry fruit. I like the sweetly fruited aromatics here, and the fresh, tangy finish. 84/100

See also:

Visiting Soalheiro, Vinho Verde

Wines tasted 07/10  
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