Cazas Novas
Visiting Vinho Verde in northern Portugal, focusing on new wave single-variety wines


So for the next visit we were headed east, to the sub-region of Baião, the most inland and warmest part of Vinho Verde, just before you enter the Baixo Corgo of the Douro. Located in Santa Marinha do Zezere, the Quinta de Guimarães is home to a relatively new project, Cazas Novas.

This brand is based on the grapes from this 25 hectare vineyard (the quinta is 40 hectares in all). Established in 2004, Cazas Novas is run by a team of three.

There’s the owner, Carlos Coutinho (centre), whose family have had the property for seven generations; winemaker Diogo Fonseca Lopes (left), who has worked closely with Vinho Verde legend Anselmo Mendes; and Vasco Magalhães (right), son of Sogrape’s Vasco Magalhães, who is the sales guy. Since 2014 ownership of the project is now a three way split among them.


The actual new house in ‘Cazas Novas’ is the main home of the Coutinho family, a short distance away. On the estate, there’s the lovely Casa de Guimaraes, owned by Carlos’s father, which was built in 1720, and which offers accommodation to tourists. Winemaking currently takes place at Anselmo Mendes’ winery, but from 2015 will be moving back to the estate to allow greater control.


The slightly warmer climate here helps make wines with a bit more richness, but this is still very much Vinho Verde, with a freshness and brightness, in part contributed by the decomposed granitic soils. Rather than being Alvarinho territory, this is where Avesso shines. Also grown here, and doing well, are Arinto and Loureiro.

More serious wines like these represent the future of Vinho Verde, I reckon. Wines without spritz, with a bit more presence in the mouth. ‘A lot of us are working in this direction of Vinho Verde with no CO2,’ says winemaker Diogo Lopes. He’s keen on Avesso. ‘I like it mainly because of the mouthfeel; it is not just aromatic interest.’



Cazas Novas 2014 Vinho Verde, Portugal
This is a classic blend of 75% Avesso and 25% Loureiro. Very focused and nicely textured with taut citrus, pear and pith . Fresh yet has some breadth with lovely fruit. Stylish. 89/100

Cazas Novas Avesso 2014 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Textured and lively with peach and some citrus pith. Lively with some citrus pith and subtle herbal notes. Nice depth and a lively, lemony finish. There's some depth here. 90/100

Cazas Novas 2013 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Taut and citrussy with nice pear fruit and a bit of melon. Lovely grapefruit notes and nice weight. Stylish and pure. 89/100

Cazas Novas Avesso 2013 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Lovely broad melon, pear and peach fruit with nice texture and some oily notes. Broad with a bit of grapefruit on the finish. Rich but has a fresh finish. 90/100

Casal de Ventozela
Quinta de Gomariz
Cazas Novas
Quinta de Covela

See also:

Visiting Vinho Verde (2008) (series)

Wines tasted 04/15  
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