Visiting Portugal's Vinho Verde region, part 2
visited Quinta de Lourosa on a lovely November day, with a faint
haze of morning mist lingering in the air.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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
tasted as 11/08
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com