Quinta de Gomariz
Visiting Vinho Verde in northern Portugal,
focusing on new wave single-variety wines
was a sunny spring afternoon when we rocked up at Quinta de Gomariz.
This estate has 17 hectares of vines, and it’s located in the Vale
do Ave sub-region, right in the heart of Vinho Verde country.
Gomariz is 2 km from the Ave river and 20 km from the Atlantic.
They’ve recently bought another 7 hectares of land but they
are not planting this now.
met with António
Sousa, the winemaker, who is a thoughtful person, prone to
experimentation in the winery, which is a good thing.
Seven main varieties are grown here but overall there are 37
varieties in the vineyards including some experimental plots: 15 of
these are local varieties with 22 international ones. The old
vineyards here are 15 years old, the youngest 3 years old. The soils
here are 2–3 m deep with 4% organic material. 75% is sand, based on
favourite varieties? Alvarinho is one: 'It's almost impossible to
have a bad wine from this,' he says. Loureiro is another: ‘It can
make an excellent wine or a terrible wine; now we are seeing
excellent wines from Loureiro.’ Avesso also gets a mention.
believes in single-variety Vinho Verde. 'The people want to see the
varieties, and the easy way to explain this is with single
varieties. If they know the profile of the variety they can
understand the blend.’
chatted yields. Typically Loureiro will give 10 tons/hectare and
Alvarinho 7 tons/ha, with the others somewhere in between. Some
years Loureiro can deliver 16 tons/ha without any quality problems –
unlike with red wines, concentration isn't necessarily needed for
whites. The issue is the right acidity and the right sugar.
winemaking consists of 6–12 h skin contact for all wines, sometimes
24 h, and some vats do 30% whole bunch ferment. No skin contact is
used for Treixadura. Fermentation temperature makes quite a
difference with white wines, and completely different wines can be
made with 12 versus 18 C.
likes to work with small lots. The winery has some 80 different
vats, and he makes 35 different vats of Loureiro. These represent a
palette of wines to blend from. The final Loureiro that was most
recently bottles used 20 of these.
whole cellar is fitted with inert gas, and all vats have a positive
pressure of 0.3 bars. The ferments are done at positive pressure to
keep oxygen out. The final wines have 1.6-1.8 g CO2 in them without
adding anything, and they have around 1 bar pressure after 6 or 7
Skin fermented. Very aromatic peach and pear fruit with lovely
orange peel palate. Fresh and nicely intense with some tangerine
Loureiro (normal ferment)
Lively, bright and fresh with high aciity, citrus notes and some
pithiness. Fresh and lemony.
This gives good yields and good maturation. It's an early variety
and growers love it. Rich, broad with lovely fruit. Bold but fresh
with nice pear and spice, with a peppery edge.
A hardy vine that can handle anything, but makes soft wines with low
acidity. Good for blending with lots of aromatic compounds, giving
aromas of pineapple and passionfruit. Don't extract anything from
the skins, just the varietal compounds. Doesn't live long as a
single variety. Crisp, fruit and citrussy with a hint of green.
Pithy and bright.
Loureiro 2012 No oak
3–4% of this older wine like this is blended into the first wines
that go to market. Lovely textured pear and peach fruit with nice
depth of broad fruity flavours. Textured and full.
Loureiro 2011 No oak
Full yellow colour. Lively notes of herbs, wax, citrus and pear with
lovely depth and a bit of spiciness. Subtle nut and kerosene notes.
This is a press wine that is used for blending. Fresh and grapey
with spice and nice texture. Concentrated flavours with low acidity.
Loureiro 2013 without skin contact
Nice pear and peach fruit. Lovely texture with good acidity. Fresh
but full flavoured.
Fresh, pure and pithy with apples, pear and citrus. Nice weight,
with a bit of tannin.
Aromatic with notes of wax, pear, pith. Lively and bright with
lovely focus and depth of flavour, as well as a bit of grip.
Lively with rich floral peach and pear fruit. Nice depth and purity
with prettiness and texture, and some tangerine notes. Very
Honeyed and nutty with nice citrus fruit. Rounded and stylish
Very lemony and taut with fresh grapefruit characters.
Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Very fresh, pretty, green and rounded with a bit of honey.
This has Fernao Pires and also some press wines. Hugely aromatic
with lovely rich melony fruit. Fat and textured with soft acid and
Oxidative, powerful, appley with citrus and some honeyed fruit.
Powerful, spicy and lovely: old but interesting with a salty edge.
Sparkling wine: the base wine is sent through a device with
encapsulated yeast in it to a Charmat tank. The same yeasts do 5
different tanks and produce one bar of pressure per day. He's aiming
at 6.5 bars of pressure and then a bit will be lost at bottling. The
encapsulated yeast removes the need for filtration.
Quinta de Gomariz Avesso Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
Avesso is a difficult grape with a dark side. It's hard to grow, and
you need to know how to make it, but it is interesting. It has good
ageing potential and acidity, and interesting aromas of white
fruits, quince and pear. It's a young variety that's only 250 years
old, with just a few clones. Lovely yellow fruits nose with pear and
white peach. The palate has good texture and lovely fruit, with real
Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
Aromatic with pear, peach and nice citrus fruit as well as a hint of
herbiness. Nice density of fruit with a bit of pear skin character.
Quinta de Gomariz Loureiro Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
aromatic with freshpears, ripe apples and some grapes. Fresh and
vivid on the palate with good texture to the pear and citrus fruit.
Pure, vivid and zippy. 88/100
Quinta de Gomariz Grande Escolha 2013 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Lively and a bit pithy with nice precision, some waxy notes and ripe
pear and peach fruit. Lively, zippy and fresh with lovely fruit.
Quinta de Gomariz Espadeiro Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
is the best adapted variety to the region. Pale pink with a hint of
orange. Lively and bright with a creamy edge to the bright citrus
and red cherry fruit, as well as some honey notes. High acidity.
Quinta de Gomariz Padeiro Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
orange pink colour. Fresh and vivid with high acidity. Pure and
juicy with some tangy cranberry fruit. Vivid. 86/100
Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho Vinho Espumante NV Vinho Verde, Portugal
Lovely Alvarinho fatness with rich herbs, pear and spice, as well as
subtle toasty notes. Very fruity and pure with some depth. Lovely.
Quinta de Gomariz Vinhão Colheita Seleccionada 2014 Vinho Verde,
Intense and vivid with nice apple notes and sweet pure black fruits.
Vivid raspberries with an inky colour. I love the intensity of the
fruit here. It's a powerful wine. 90/100
Vinho Verde (2008) (series)
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