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!
Quinta da Gaivosa, the heart of Alves de Sousa winery in the Baixo Corgo area of the Douro Valley.
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.
At the top (~500m) of Quinta da Gaivosa, the heart of Alves de Sousa winery in the Baixo Corgo area of the Douro Valley.
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.
Barrel tasting of 2015 and 2016 wines with father (Domingos) and son (Tiago). Some great things coming up when released!
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.
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.
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.
- 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.)
- Vinha do Lordelo 2005 (Expansive, talkative, delicious to drink now.)