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.

Father (Domingos, a Douro table wine pioneer in the 90s) and son (Tiago, a trained winemaker) are working tightly together to guarantee a bright future ahead for the family-run Alves de Sousa winery. A courageous new winery building, even more precise viticulture, age-worthy wines and innovative high-quality wine projects. Inspiring!

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Quinta da Gaivosa, the heart of Alves de Sousa winery in the Baixo Corgo area of the Douro Valley.

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The new winery building at Alves de Sousa. A modern architecture black brick structure  designed by Belém Lima under function-oriented supervision of the Alves de Sousa family.

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At the top (~500m) of Quinta da Gaivosa, the heart of Alves de Sousa winery in the Baixo Corgo area of the Douro Valley.

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Saved in 2004 in a last minute decision to try to make wine from it one last time. 90-yr-old field blend. 500 m altitude. 2.5 ha (50% missing). Extremely low yields. The birthplace of one of the most exhilarating Douro reds, the one and only Abandonado.

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Barrel tasting of 2015 and 2016 wines with father (Domingos) and son (Tiago). Some great things coming up when released!

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A fabulous tasting of Alves de Sousa old vintages. Gaivosa 2009, Reserva Pessoal 2008, Vinha do Lordelo 2005 and the ethereal Abandonado 04. Memórias, a blend of the best of the last 20 years – including these ones – tasting like it. Unique.

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A unique skin, lees contact & batonnage white in the Douro. Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Viosinho and field-blend varieties from 60-year-old vineyard. Like “orange” wine? You’ll love this.

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Winery tasting was followed by food & wine tasting (with the same wines plus a couple of new bottles) at the consistently-good fine dining Douro restaurant DOC.

The Wines

  • OMG
  • Excellent
    • Abandonado 2004 (Outstandingly fresh, long life ahead. One of the best age-worthy Douro reds. Ethereal.)
    • Alves de Sousa Pessoal Branco 2006 (Aged so well! Skin, lees contact & batonnage. Like “orange” wine? You’ll love this.)
  • Very Good
    • Quinta da Gaivosa 20 Year Old Tawny (Clearly more than 20 years, salty, elegant, seductive.)
    • Quinta da Gaivosa Vintage 2009 (Split Vintage Port Declaration year. Some great Ports declared. This fruit-forward one included.)
    • Memórias (A blend of the best wines of the last 20 years, slightly confusing layers, still a great wine.)
    • Alves de Sousa Reserva Pessoal Tinto 2008 (“Garrafeira” philosophy, released only after 9 years of ageing, “varnish-y”. Created by Domingos (father).)
    • Quinta da Gaivosa 2009 (Very consistent Douro classic.)
    • Branco da Gaivosa Grande Reserva 2015 (Elegant, well integrated oak.)
  • Good
    • Vinha do Lordelo 2005 (Expansive, talkative, delicious to drink now.)
  • Average

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