As you all know by now, I am a big fan of Portuguese wines, and particularly of the Douro region. It is such a cool place. Of late, I have neglected Portugal a bit. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because so many other journos are focusing their attention there it has made it harder to be able to tell stories that haven’t already been told. But Portugal will always have a special place in my heart (does this sound cheesy?). It is just so characterful and unique: one of the world’s great wine countries. And if you consider the amount of agricultural land given over to viticulture, Portugal is the world’s leading wine country!
This pair of Douro wines were sent to me to taste by Quinta do Judeu. It’s a Douro Quinta that has not been on too many peoples’ radars, but the wines are pretty good. They’d be candidates for cellaring: both are currently youthful and tight. They are made in quite an Italian style, which is better than those Douro wines made in a new world style with lots of lush fruit and new oak.
Quinta do Judeu Branco 2012 Douro, Portugal
A blend including Viosinho, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and others. Ripe, rich and textured with grapes, herbs, citrus and pear fruit. This is a rich white but it is still fresh with some grapefruit pith on the finish. Broad, intense and fruit dominated. 89/100
Quinta do Judeu 2012 Douro, Portugal
From 15+ varieties, with the most significant being Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarela. Foot trodden in lagares. Savoury, spicy notes on the nose with some chocolate and vanilla, as well as som subtle balsamic notes. Perfumed, floral and taut. The palate shows sweet raspberry, red cherry and plum fruit with a keen, savoury, spicy edge and some grippy structre. High acidity. Bright and not too heavy, but not lacking concentration either. 91/100