Four Douro table wines from Poças Junior

douro portugal

Four Douro table wines from Poças Junior

pocas junior

Founded in 1918, Poças Júnior is one of the few Portuguese-owned Port companies still in the hands of the original family. Port is still their main focus, accounting for 80% of their revenue, with an emphasis on tawnies. But Douro table wines are an increasing slice of Poças’ business. Their first Douro table wine was the Coroa d’Ouro 1990, which was early on in the Douro revolution that has seen increasing attention given to these new, more ambitious table wines.

They source from three Quinta, covering all three Douro subzones: Quinta das Quartas (2.5 ha, Baixo Corgo), Quinta de Santa Bárbara (33 ha, Cima Corgo), and Quinta de Vale de Cavalos (51 ha, Douro Superior). I tried four wines from the range. I like the freshness here: they are very drinkable, and don’t show any trace of over-ripeness. But I found the oak handling a little intrusive on some of them. Still, they’re really nice wines moving in the right direction, and they speak of the terroirs that gave them birth. With a bit more fine-tuning, this could be an interesting project.

Poças Coroa d’Ouro 2014 Douro, Portugal
13% alcohol. Supple, fresh cherry and raspberry fruit with nice brightness. There’s a fine-grained, stony structure here. I like the freshness and purity to the fruit. It’s vivid and bright with nice focus and presence, and it’s really drinkable, avoiding any hint of over-ripeness. 89/100

Poças Vale de Cavalos 2014 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. Selection from the Douro Superior, aged 8 months in French oak. Nice sweet fruit here with some freshness to the cherry and raspberry notes. Nice structure and focus, but there’s a little sweet vanilla oak intruding a bit (just a tiny bit, mind). The fruit is fresh and bright, and there’s lots to like about this wine. 88/100

Poças Reserva 2014 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. This comes from Ervedosa in the Cima Corgo, and it spends 12 months in French oak. Structured and with good concentration, and also nice freshness. Sweet blackberry and black cherries. Slightly lifted nose with some damson alongside the floral cherry fruit aromatics. Some tarry, spicy notes on the finish. This is an attractive, balanced wine that probably needs a couple of years for the oak to settle down a little, but the slight volatile/oxidative note (and this is only slight: I’m being picky) makes me think it might be best drunk soon. Overall, though, it’s really appealing and captures the essence of the Douro well. 90/100

Poças Reserva Branco 2015 Douro, Portugal
13.5% alcohol. Blend of Códega, Rabigato, Gouveio, Viosinho, fermented in stainless steel and then aged in barrel. There’s some sweet fruit here, with notes of grapes and herbs, and also a cedary, spicy character presumably from the oak. Nuts, tangerines, spice and lemons. Not particularly integrated. 86/100

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