Off to an exciting start of the year with a wine trip to the Douro Valley. During 3 days I’ve visited a few wineries, met and discussed with producers and  barrel-tasted some 2015s and 2016s wines. Definitely a promising year ahead with some very good releases in the horizon.

Wine & Soul‘s Douro winemaking couple Sandra Tavares da Silva & Jorge Serôdio Borges (of Pintas fame) are painstakingly restoring the centenarian terraces, vines & houses of Quinta da Manoella with the goal “to create wines that express all the characters of the traditional vineyards and varieties of the Douro Valley”.

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‪Terraces, walls and old vines at Quinta da Manoella. The unique landscape of the Douro.

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A sunny morning in Vale de Mendiz where Wine & Soul’s winemaking facilities (including some classic foot-threadeding stone “lagares”) and HQ is located.

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The Quinta da Manoella vineyard goes all the way down to the river. It also includes areas of dense forest which contribute to the overall balance of the local ecosystem.

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One of the houses at Quinta da Manoella under renovation.

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Douro soil: schist. The slate-like metamorphic rock is the challenging soil in which Douro vines work (very) deep & hard to make magic happen.

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Mellow  winter sun in a cold Douro morning at Quinta da Manoella.

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A tree with a view at Quinta da Manoella.

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Sandra and Jorge keeping an eye on their young riverside Touriga Nacional vineyard (grafted with Touriga Nacional from their own old vines) at Quinta da Manoella.

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Wow & Wow. A world-class age-worthy 2011 Douro red (here in magnum) coming from a 100 yr-old vine surrounded by forrest. Superlative. Definitely a favorite. Preceded by a gorgeously aged Douro white (right) from a 50 yr-old vine (oak fermented: Gouveio, Viosinho, Rabigato and Códega do Larinho). Definitely Wine & Soul.

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First tasting of the Pintas 2014. Coming from (pre-2014-rain harvested) grapes from an 80-yr-old vineyard with more than 30 different portuguese varieties. Fruit elegance, focused intensity, lovely smooth-but-deep finish. All very well together. So ready to show itself now and yet so much more to tell in the next 10/15 years. What a pleasure. A very good vintage from a Douro classic.

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The first ever Pintas Vintage Port Wine made in 2003. One of the warmest years ever producing a highly-attractive-yet-complex, grippy, age-worthy Port. Would love a back-to-the-future car to taste this in 30 years.

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The Wines

  • OMG
    • 5G Five Generations (Tasted before. A one-of-a-kind century-old Tawny kept by Jorge’s family for 5 Generations. Limited to 1200 individually-numbered bottles. Outstanding freshness. Fabulously long. Pure magic. Inexpensive luxury at 1500 €.)
  • Excellent
    • Quinta da Manoella Vinhas Velhas 2011 Magnum (Wow. World-class age-worthy 2011 red – that special year – from a 100 yr-old vine.)
    • Quinta da Manoella Vinhas Velhas 2014 (A very good example of an often difficult 2014 vintage. World-class red, age-worthy, elegance, finesse.)
    • Pintas 2014 (Pure class from a classic Douro red. 80-yr-old vineyard, 30 different portuguese varieties. Deservedly one of Douro’s best reds. Will drink spectacularly well in a few years.)
    • Pintas Vintage 2003 (First ever Wine & Soul Vintage Port. Sedutive, expressive but grippy, age-worthy.)
    • Pintas Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Fresh, peppery, bitter, elegant and persistent.)
  • Very Good
    • Guru 2009 (Very well aged! Oak now fully integrated. Beautifully balanced. Very long. A white treat!)
    • Guru 2015 (Elegance, oak integrated, freshness. Beautiful balance at this young age.)
  • Good
    • Manoella 2014 (Attractive Douro blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga
      Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Francisca from 35 year-old Quinta
      da Manoella vineyard.)
  • Average

3 thoughts on “A Wine & Soul renovation at Quinta da Manoella

    1. Thank you! The quinta is gorgeous and their careful renovation (vines included) can only do good to make those great wines!

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