Quinta dos Roques: Showing the Potential of the Dão

The Dão is a Portuguese wine region that’s in a state of transition, and Luís Lorenço (shown here), co-owner and manager of Quinta dos Roques is helping lead it. Luis showed us his wines this week at a special tasting organized for us at the Adega Luís Pato in Anadia. While most wines in Portugal are blends of multiple varietals, Luís decided that he first needed to make single varietal wines from indigenous Portuguese varietals to learn more about them. Being a former mathematician, Luís likes to take a systematic, scientific approach to winemaking. Having replanted the Quinta’s vineyards and done his research on the varietals, he now is producing world class wines in the Dão with the assistance of consulting enologist Rui Reguingua. Two of his truly superb wines that we especially liked are the Quinta dos Roques 2003 Reserva Red and the Quinta dos Roques 2003 Garrafeira Red. The Reserva includes five different varietals. Touriga Nacional represents about half of the blend, with the uncommon grapes Jaen and Alfrocheiro making their contributions. The Garrafeira is about 65 percent Touriga Nacional along with three other varietals; it’s also aged in French oak for 18 months. These are rich, beautifully balanced wines that show the high potential of the Dão. We’ll write more about these and other Dão wines in our upcoming report on Portugal. Luís also makes wine at Quinta das Maias in the Dão.

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