Dynamo, Luis LorencoQuinta dos Roques & Quinta das Maias

Quinta dos Roques

Rua da Paz - Abrunhosa do Mato

3530-050 Cunha Baixa - Mangualde 

GPS:  N 40° 33’ 02’’ -  W 7° 45’ 02’’ 

Telemóvel: +351 919 646 495

Adega: +351 232 614 500

 http://www.quintaroques.pt/

Although coming from outside the wine business and the region, Luis Lourenco is one of Dao's great innovators and pioneers. He has pushed many traditional boundaries while at the same time remaining deeply loyal to the regions traditional grape varieties and their native terroir. Since the early 1990s he has systematically pulled apart Daos traditional white and red grape blends, producing single varietal bottlings of Tinta Cao, Jaen, Alfrocheiro, Verdelho and Encruzado in order to re-evaluate each grape's potential. From this exercise, Luis has come to understand these grapes have clear preferences for the differing climates and terroir that define his two properties two main estates, Quinta das Maias and Quinta dos Roques. His wide ranging portfolio offers the novice an excellent opportunity to understand each grape's signature characteristics and what they contribute with Dao's multi-grape blends.

His current pet project focuses on the early maturing Verdelho grape, which he thinks may be same as Gouveio in Douro. Although an approved grape in Dao, no one has bottled it on its own yet. Once again, Lourenco is mapping out new territory. Results so far indicate Verdelho changes so radically in bottle from year to year that he hasn't been able to begin defining its fruit characters (early on “mineral and citrus” characters shine, then later on fruit becomes more “yellow peach”) or aging potential. Predictably “changeable” is about all he can safely say at this point.

Luis offers some insightful comments on Encruzado. Generally speaking, Encruzado vines yield few grapes, which creates a highly concentrated wine. In his experience, the grape has fairly “unnatural behavior, because when alcohol goes up, the acidity goes up as well.” In fact, the “highest acidity was in the ultra hot year, 2003, which produced 13.8% alcohol and 7 grams total acidity.” After bottling,  Encruzado “tends to be dominated by oak for its first 2 months, then the fruit comes back.”  He believes it “needs a long time in bottle to show its best,” His own 2001 is drinking beautifully now and the 2005 is just hitting its stride.

Luis has a strong commitment to two of Dao's most underated grape varieiteis: Jaen and Alfrocheiro. At Quinta dos Roques, Jaen harvests 2 weeks earlier than Touriga. He uses oak only to soften Jaen's tannins, not as a flavorant. Alfrocheiro also has firm tannins, but doesn't like barrels because oak kills off its delicate aromas and flavors. Of Dao's main grapes, Luis believes only Touriga Nacional seems to like new oak.

 

Quinta das Maias  ‘Flor das Maias’ 2007 14% This blend of 85% Touriga, 10% Alfrocheiro and 5% Roriz was made from a 1st round, hand selection of Maias’s best bunches. It intends to make a special statement about  touriga from this terroir.  Aromas are an enticingly complex mix of pencil shavings and dried black cherry aromas, with a touch of spiritness. It is a very dense nose, followed by ever deeper textured with explosive concentration, but well tempered by fine, powdery tannins and balancing acidity. Only 1000 bottles were produced. 30eu

Quinta das Maias Branco 2010 13.5% Made from Malvasina Fina, Encruzado, Sercial and Verdelho this wine is  more delicately perfumed  and elegant than its sister Roques. It has a finer nose and palate weight, cooler feeling in the mouth, with brighter fruit and lovely fine acidity. 

Quinta das Maias Jaen 2008 13.3%  Aromatically closed at the moment, with strong graphite notes. In the mouth it offers concentrated savoury red fruit and mineral flavors. The wine is quite tight on the palate, but shows good length, and lovely juicy back palate concentration. As it opens up, tart red cherry flavors emerge and acidity feels  more prominent than tannins. A well focused wine with great linearity. 20eu

Quinta das Maias Malvasia-Fina 2010 13.5% This is an highly refined, elegantly styled wine with delicate florals, fine textures and a long melt-away finish. Xxx+ xxxx

Quinta das Maias Tinto 2009 13.5% This blend of Jaen, Touriga, Alfrocheiro, Rorirz is highly aromatic, melding florals with fresh pine, dried herb notes and fresh red cherry fruitiness. In the mouth it offers a juicy mix of raspberry and cherry flavors throughout the finish. I especially liked its firm fine tannins, great length a nd back palate concentration. 

Quinta das Maias Verdelho Branco 2009 13% This unoaked style, employs a gentle form of battonage via nitrogen infusion pumped through bottom of tank. The bouquet is packed with dried herb, mineral, cantaloupe, fresh orchid blossom and stem florals. In the mouth it plays out through a finely viscous palate laced with undercurrent of fresh crisp acidity. This is a fine grained, ultra clean, racy style of wine that suggests huge potential in Dao.  

Quinta das Roques Branco 2010  13.5% This blend of Encruzado, Bical, Malvasina Fina, Sercial and Verdelho is richer, and more fruity than Quinta Maias.  Leading with fresh, apple-like fruit carried through a round, plush, smooth texture with firm acidity. The wine is very clean and long, with great weight and denseity, excellent overall balance and a tapered finish.

Quinta das Roques Encruzado 2010 13.5% Initially quite closed down aromatically, hinting of melons and stonefruits, with nutty, vanilla, oak notes. Textures were broad and seamless, with firm visceral structures, finishing with fine oak tannins and vanilla flavors. The wine needs more time for fruit to re-emerge and integrate, but great potential here.

Quinta das Roques Reserva 2007 This is from an old field blend of Touriga Nacional (55-60%) Jaen, Alfrocheiro, Roriz, Tinto Cao, various unknown grapes, and a single baga vine. Smoky, toasty oak aromas lead on to a mouthful of explosive red fruit characters with great persisitence, all of which is shot through with piercing acidity that wells up at the end with a mouthwatering red fruit juiciness. Complex and superbly structured, this is great wine. 20eu