In the Douro: at Vallado's Casa do Rio

I’m in the Douro. It’s 0720 and from where I’m sitting I have a view of the Douro river, looking out from my room at Quinta do Vallado’s new luxury hotel Casa do Rio. And it’s pouring with rain. Normally, rain at harvest time would be a disaster, but it has been really dry here, [...]

Conceito Bastardo 2007 Douro, Portugal

A few years ago – back in November 2008 – I was judging wine in Porto. I met up with some Portuguese wine people for dinner, and ended up leaving with a magnum of this. I remember getting a lift up to my floor at 3 am with the manager of the Canadian rugby team [...]

O-Port-Unidade 2013 Vintage Port

This is a great project – one that I mentioned last year when I tried a cask sample with lunch. It’s a charity Port project to which 20 of the leading Port producers from the Douro each contributed around a ton of grapes. These were fermented together in a lagar at the Niepoort winery, and [...]

Latest Douro wines from Dirk Niepoort, and his brilliant Mosel collaboration with Kettern

At ProWein I caught up with Dirk Niepoort, and took a look at his Douro wines, and also a new project from the Mosel that he’s involved with: a collaboration with Phillip Kettern (from Weingut Lothar Kettern) It’s always great to taste with Dirk.

Both of the Niepoort white Redomas are made the same way, but the [...]

Dow's 1960 Vintage Port

This was stunning. Dirk Niepoort brought it along to lunch the other day (for the sake of disclosure, the picture is of another bottle of this wine – an empty magnum – he had with him; the actual bottle was unlabelled – and thanks Sam Suddons for the pic). 1960 is thought of as a [...]

Port round-up: my guide to the best readily available Ports

Port is one of the most seasonal drinks of all. And we’re in peak Port-drinking season right now. I drink quite a bit of Port – all year round – and I reckon that if you are a Port fan, these are happy days. Quality across the board is pretty good, and the cheaper wines [...]

In the Douro (5) Quinta do Crasto

Quinta do Crasto is one of the important properties in the story of table wine in the Douro. The first table wines were made here in the mid-1990s under the direction of David Baverstock. Remarkably, we got to try a magnum of the first vintage, the 1994 Reserva. It was quite beautiful: it still had [...]

In the Douro (4) Vallado

Our final day in the Douro Valley began at Quinta do Vallado. As well as being a very good wine estate, Vallado also have one of the best hotels in the Douro. [We had stayed there the previous evening.]

Located in the Baixo Corgo, the first of the three subregions that you reach when you’ve come [...]

Video: in the Douro Valley, Portugal

Filmed during the 2012 harvest, here’s the film that David Fuller made with me on the Douro Valley – visiting the Douro Boys. I thought it would be fun to revisit it.

In the Douro (3) Niepoort

Dirk Niepoort needs no introduction. For me, this is the Douro’s most exciting winery (it’s one of the world’s most exciting wineries, for that matter). Dirk says that in 2013 he made some radical changes and ‘pressed a re-set button.’ The wines, already excellent, have taken a step forward with the 2013s. And 2014s from [...]