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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
Two very interesting visits yesterday: Vale Dona Maria and Niepoort. There’s something nice about unhurried appointments. It takes the pressure off: you don’t need to gather the maximum information in the shortest time, and you can have a good look around. It’s surprising how the conversation turns, and what you learn. So it was nice [...]
I’m in the Douro. As is common on the road, time for blogging is short, and internet connections are not always guaranteed (although across the world they are so much better than they used to be even five years ago). So, a quick update on day 1. I was at Quinta do Vale Meão, which is [...]
I’m off to Portugal this evening. Back to the Douro, for some quality time with the Douro Boys.
I remember my first visit to the Douro. It was back in May 2002. I’d been to a wine dinner and met this Portuguese winemaker. A bloke called Dirk Niepoort. I sat next to him, and at the [...]
Had a chance to try four vintages of Noval side by side. Sadly, this was tasting not drinking – and usually, tasting notes made in the act of drinking have more value than those made from just tasting – but it was nice to revisit these wines. Some comments. First, the Silval 2005! This is [...]
Yesterday’s lunch was at the much talked about Taberna do Mercado, in Old Spitafields Market, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. This is Nuno Mendes’ relatively new venture, so I was expecting great things. This is not a grand restaurant: the dining room is simple, plain and modern. But the food is extraordinary.
Some Portuguese whites, tasted with lunch on the Lisbon coast. All impressive, and not too expensive.
Soalheiro Vinho Verde 2014 Portugal
This is benchmark Alvarinho from one of the top producers in the region. Lively precise pear and grapefruit flavours, showing nice focus with some spiciness. Precise with a lemony finish. 91/100
Redoma Branco 2013 Douro, Portugal
This is [...]