A Day In the Douro (Part 2)

Pintas/Wine & Soul 

Wine & Soul is the creation of husband and wife winemakers Jorge Serôdio Borges and Sandra Tavares da Silva. They have vineyards deep in the Pinhão Valley including Quinta da Manoella which was added to the Portfolio in 2009. Pintas comes from a 2ha plot of eighty year old south facing vines, interplanted with over 30 different grape varieties including lots of Rufete.  A white wine called Guru comes from a 44 year old, high altitude vineyard near Murça planted with Viosinho, Códega, Rabigato and Gouveio. Jorge Serôdio also makes the wines at Quinta do Passadouro in the Pinhão Valley and Sandra Tavares da Silva is responsible for her family’s vineyard at Quinta da Chocapalha near Lisbon. They are a busy couple! 

Guru 2012 ****

Barrel fermented, 5 months in new French oak: lovely creamy, buttery character to the nose; quite rich initially yet taut and minerally underneath, still young, needing time to come together. 12.5% abv 16+ 

Guru 2006  ****  

Green tinged lemon yellow; very delicate pineapple and citrus on the nose, well-integrated oak, gentle, minerally and very fine with savoury-toasty oak lingering on the finish.  Standing up very well after 7 years. 13.5% abv 17 

Pintas Character 2011 ***/****

A field blend from 46 year old vines in the Pinhão Valley, 50% new oak and 50% used oak: fine, open berry fruit aromas; fresh berry fruit on the palate with firm dusty tannins, reflecting the ripeness of the vintage yet retaining elegance and finesse. 15.5   

Quinta de Manoella 2011 ****

From vines over a century old with lots of Tinta Francisca in the field blend. Just 3,000 bottles produced: very deep and intense on the nose, some Port-like fruit and fragrance; gentle yet powerful at the same time, rather like a Vintage Port, fine, intense berry fruit with lovely purity and expression, not that big but elegant with firm, fine grained tannins. A very impressive Douro red.  18

Pintas 2011  ****

 Dense, closed on the nose, fine and firm with naturally sweet berry fruit, lovely purity, reflecting the character of the vintage, fine and focused all the way through to the finish. Earlier picking and gentle extraction have lent this wine more finesse than in the past.   16.5+?

Pintas 2010 ****

From a much more challenging vintage: very different on the nose, with more oak showing through, opening up to reveal lovely fruit, more loose knit as you would expect from a much larger more stretched crop but quite expressive nonetheless with purity on the finish. 16   

Poeira 

Jorge Moreira, wine maker at Quinta de La Rosa and Real Companhia Velha, has been farming 9 ha of vines just above Taylor’s Quinta de Terra Feita in the Pinhão Valley since 2001. Just 3 ha are old vines.  Jorge believes that the fact that vineyard is north facing is fundamental to their style of wine. The wines are made in four stone lagares and aged in an underground cellar with thick schist walls. Like Pintas (above), younger vintages of Poeira have more finesse and less extraction than in the past, as was evident from a 2001 which seemed bitter-sweet in style. Jorge led a comprehensive tasting of a number of vintages, the highlights of which are written up below:

Poeira 2007 ****

Showing purity of fruit and the coolness of the year on the nose despite registering 14% abv. Again, attractive bright berry fruit on the palate with lovely  purity leading to a firm, fine grained finish. 16.5        

Poeira 2009  ***/**** +

New oak showing through on the nose, still very young and disjointed, tight knit, ripe fruit underlying, still a bit raw, needing time to come together, firm tannins, locked in on the finish. 15.5 +? 

Poeira 2010  ****

Open and fragrant on the nose; quite opulent in style with well-ripened characteristic Douro berry fruit, lighter and more elegant than the 2009 with well-defined cherry stone fruit all the way through to the finish balanced by firm stony tannins.  17

Poeira 2011 ****

Recently bottled: dense and tight knit on the nose, lovely rich sweet fruit backed by ripe tannins which still need time to soften, well balanced with a beautiful thread of acidity. Shows great potential. 17.5 

Pó de Poeira 2011 ***

This is Jorge Moreira’s second wine: rather hot and ripe on the nose, verging on jammy in style; firm but a bit too extractive for me with a rather tough finish.  14

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty