It was a real treat to try the first two wines made from this domaine. Back in 2002 I attended a dinner in the Douro at which several winemakers gathered to present their work. At the time, Sanrda Tavares was the winemaker at Quinta do Vale D Maria, working alongside Cristiano van Zeller. She brought along a wine from her family’s property, which she also made: Chocapalha. This was the debut vintage of the Reserva, and I really liked it. Now, 15 years later on a visit to the domaine, I got to try this wine again, and also the regular Tinto from the debut year. Both were in really good shape, and drinking beautifully.
Quinta de Chocapalha Tinto 2000 Estremadura, Portugal
This was a blend of Castelão, Trincadeira, Camarate and Alicante. 12.5% alcohol. Sappy with some iodine and a bit of spice on the nose. Very elegant, showing some evolution, but this wine has also preserved its cherry and plum fruit well. Such lovely drinking now: elegant, fine, digestible, midweight and fine. 93/100
Quinta de Chocapalha Reserva 2000 Estremadura, Portugal
Varietal Touriga Nacional. Fine, leafy, earthy and gravelly on the nose with lovely inviting aromas of black cherries and plums, as well as some fine green notes. There are hints of mint, herbs and spice. The palate has lovely density and shows grippy, herb-tinged spice and black cherries, with some plums and fine herbs. Complex and nicely dense, this has aged beautifully. 94/100