Quinta das Marias,

Oliveira do Conde,

3430-364 Carregal do Sal

ph: 962 319 757

GPS N 40° 26'33,53"

W 7° 58'04,84''

Winemaker: Antonio Narciso


 

Quinta das Marias is the brainchild of Swiss businessman, Peter Eckert, who fell in love with the region when visiting many years ago. He wanted to find a way to spend more time there when his retirement years came so purchased an old vineyard and set about doing something special with it. Since retraining and replanting some of the vines Marias has become a force to be reckoned with. 

Marias produce both an unoaked and barrel fermented Encruzado, a rose from Jaen, small batches of pure Alfrochiero (aged in 2-3 year barriques), and red blends from Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. The winery is small, ultra modern on one hand, but still uses traditional lagar methods for partial pre-fermentation and foot pressing on some wines. Grapes are grown around 4 tonnes per hectare for reds, with 5-5.5 tonnes for whites, but old vine Encruzado vineyards come in at much lower production levels. 

Winemaking is handled by Antonio Narciso, known as ‘Narcisco.’ locally.  He is highly respected for his championing of traditional lagar winemaking and prefers to use Portuguese barrels constructed with French oak, feeling they are better made.

 

Narcisco praises Dao’s Encruzado in Dao as perfectly suited to the region because it can ‘have 13-13.5% and still have high acidity’ and consistently produces good volume and structure. He finds typical varietal characters of ‘honey and tea leaves’ on the nose, sometimes with tropical fruit notes.

 

He uses low toast barrique so as to not dominate the terroir and allows 8 hour skin maceration for added flavor. Encruzado needs 1 year in bottle for barrique to marry and at home he only drinks Encruzado after it is 3 years old. The 05s and 06s are just hitting their peaks now.

 

Quinta das Marias Cuvee TT 2009 14.5%   This 50/50 blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz shows smoky oak toasted aromas (from 2nd year barriques) sitting alongside a complex mix of black berries, graphite and violets. Currently very tightly focused on the palate, with mineral and black cherry flavors carried through fine, but firm tannins. Supported with superb acidity, it has great length and back palate concentration. It sells locally for 14eu.

Quinta das Marias Encruzado 2010 14% This follows a typical chardonnay regime of barrique fermention with battonage (lees stirring). Aromas are restrained and balanced in the green walnut and cashew spectrum. Fuller bodied, creamier and more seamless than their unoaked version, it still shows a little wood on finish and needs a year or so to marry in bottle. It sells locally for 12eu. 

Quinta das Marias Encruzado 2010 14% This follows a typical chardonnay regime of barrique fermention with battonage (lees stirring). Aromas are restrained and balanced in the green walnut and cashew spectrum. Fuller bodied, creamier and more seamless than their unoaked version, it still shows a little wood on finish and needs a year or so to marry in bottle. It sells locally for 12eu. 

Quinta das Marias Lote 2010 14% This is Marias’s entry level colheita with ‘lote’ meaning blend in Portuguese. It is a very fruit forward floral style, brimming with crushed black berries/loganberries aromatics and flavors.  Grapes are sourced from mixed varieties from newer vineyards.

Quinta das Marias Touriga Nacional 2009 15% Aged in new French oak barrels, this wine displays broad, slightly spirity florals and lovely violet perfumes. Full bodied with hints of vanilla and black fruit on finish. A big mouthfilling wine its packed, front to back, with firm, finely honed tannins. It needs more time in bottle and my only reservation is high alcohol. 

Quinta das Marias Unoaked Encruzado 2010 14% This wine shows Encruzado’s pure fruit characters: subtle pear, apple skin and fresh quince. In the mouth it is dense and mineral infused with firm, well balanced acidity.  Excellent food wine. It sells locally for 10eu.