Quinta de Lourosa
 Visiting Portugal's Vinho Verde region, part 2

Website:  www.quintadelourosa.com

We visited Quinta de Lourosa on a lovely November day, with a faint haze of morning mist lingering in the air.

Joana de Castro is in charge here, together with her father Rogerio de Castro (both are pictured above), who is a well known viticulturalist, teaching and consulting widely. They have 27 hectares of vines spread over four farms, which are located close together. Soils are granitic, like the Dão region, but a bit more fertile. The varieties grown here include Arinto (here known as Pedernã), Alvarinho, Loureiro and Vinhão (a red-fleshed variety, also known elsewhere in Portugal as Sousão). They also grow some less typical varieties for the region, such as Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Merlot.  

The viticulture in the region has traditionally been tall pergolas, known as Ramada. These were favoured because people would commonly have small holdings, with grapes just grown around the perimeter of small plots. No one uses this any more through choice, because the quality is poor. The light exposure of the grapes is not good, the disease pressure is high, and all work needs a ladder. However, the ramadas do look quite nice!


At Lourosa they are making use of a trellis system called ‘lys’. It’s a vertical shoot positioning system with the usual upward growing canopy, and then two downward pointing canopies, making a sort of inverted ‘Y’, a bit like a fleur du lys, which is presumably where the name came from. It gives good quality with higher yields. A typical yield for the region would be 10 tons/hectare, but here they are getting 16.

The red leaves of the Vinhão variety


Quinta de Lourosa Vinho Verde Espumante 2005
Arinto. Tight, lemony, mineral nose is fresh with herb notes. Crisp, bright, super-dry palate with good acidity. 87/100

Quinta de Lourosa Vinho Verde Branco 2007
70% Arinto, 30% Loureiro. Smoky, minerally edge to the nose. Lemon, grapefruit palate is bright and focused with some spritz. Fruity and piercing. 87/100

Quinta de Lourosa Tinto Superior 2003 Minho
A blend of several varieties. Mineral, spicy, slightly medicinal cedary nose. The palate is savoury and dark with bold, subtly earthy fruit. Dense and spicy. 84/100

Quinta de Lourosa Vinho Verde Espumante Tinto 2005
Red fizzy Vinho Verde, with intense dark fruits. Vivid, fresh and fruity with blackcurrant and blackberry notes, as well as some clove spiciness. Weird but delicious. 87/100


Wines tasted as 11/08  
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