An old Nunnery bears new fruitQuinta da Bica

Santa Comba de Seia, 

Seia, PT, 6270-184

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http://www.quintadabica.com/

 

Quinta da Bica was a pivotal mover in Dao’s resurgence as a high quality wine region. In 1989 Joao Sacadura Botte was the first producer to pull away from the cooperative movement and make his own wine. 

 

After Joao’s death, his wife Philipa courageously took over the reins and learned ‘on the job’ how to run a quinta. She now shares these duties with her daughter, Madalena, and winemaker, Paulo Nunes. The ancient family home was once a medieval nunnery and is now a beautifully restored example of Portuguese Baroque and classic era architecture.

Philipa Sacadura Botte with winemaker, Paulo Nunes

Because the estate’s vineyards are located along the edge of the relatively cooler, wetter foothills of Sera Estrella, fruit tends to retain freshness, producing wines with accentuated florals, finer textures and higher acidity.

 

As a direct consequence, Bica’s wines tend to amongst the most elegant in Dao.

 

Quinta da Bica Colheita 2005. 14% This complex blend of 50% Touriga Nacional supported by Alfrochiero, Jaen, and Roriz leans towards red fruits and savory game notes.Seamless in the mouth, it carries on with red cherry flavors and is tightly structured with fine grained tannins and fresh acidity. Very much a food wine, all about linearity and elegance. 4eu locally. 

Quinta da Bica Radix Branco 2010 12.5%. Radix means roots in Portuguese. This is sourced from a 100 year old, mixed traditional variety vineyard of Encruzado, Gouveio (also known as Verdelho), and Terrantez (known as Donzelinho Branco in Douro). It has an impressively polished, seamless nose with hints of lanolin and bees wax. Expansively mouthfilling and full bodied, it is underpinned with great acid support and fresh, mineral-influenced lemony infusion running throughout a long finish. The essence of tradition dressed up in an elegant, modern style, it sells locally for 6eu.

Quinta da Bica Radix Rose 2010. A blend of Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro this offers lactic and watermelon rind aromas, tart red cherry flavors and crisp acidity. Nicely focused, I liked its linearity. 4.5eu locally 

Quinta da Bica Radix Tinto 2008. 14% A fruit driven style with spicy black fruit and cherry-cola like aromas, tart black cherry flavors and purt acidity. 9eu locally. 

Quinta da Bica Reserva 2004 14.5% This 50% Touriga blend is fleshed out with Alfrochiero, Jaen, and Roriz. Aromatics lean towards roasted, cooked fruits with slightly oxidative notes. Full bodied, creamy and seamless it in the mouth, I found high alcohol creating a slightly dry, bitterness on finish. For me this is an atypical Bica, probably a function of a hot vintage. Although not as elegant and fresh as most Bica wines, it does have fruit concentration and power. 

Quinta da Bica Reserva 2005. 14.5% This blend of 50% Touriga Nacional with Alfrochiero, Jaen, Roriz, suggests Bica at its best: linear, elegant, seamless. Although having the same alcohol as 2004, it doesn’t peek through anywhere. The wine has great florals and a lovely, succulent mix of red and black cherries channeled through a juicy acidity, fine tannins and stunning melt-away finish. 12eu locally.