Lemos's superlative Modernist architecture is unique in DaoQuinta de Lemos

Passos de Silgueiros

apartado 14 | 3501-508

Viseu | Portugal






Quinta de Lemos is the brainchild of a local textile magnet, Celso de Lemos Esteves, who decided in the 1990s to focus on high quality Dao wines. The winemaker, Hugo Chaves, is also a local boy from Viseu who attended university in Villa Real. After having worked at Lemos since 1997 he has been resident now winemaker for 10 years. That said, the winery and vineyards have a decidedly modernist French feel to them and one can envision it all fitting into Bordeaux, or even a Napa Valley landscape, effortlessly. The wines have a modern ‘internationalist’ gloss about them as well.


The handsome, ultra modern, glass, wood and concrete winery was designed by a French architect and sits in sharp contrast to most Dao quintas. Current production, all gravity fed, runs around 100.000 bottles. The 23 hectare vineyard is sited on one of warmest spots in Dao at Silgequesas,450 metres above sea level and 300 metres from the Dao river. Plantings follow Dao’s traditional blend with 60% in Touiriga, 20% in Roriz, and 10% in both Alfrocheiro and Jaen. Vine density is 6000 per hectare. 


All the wines share a similar condensed, finely focused restraint. All are 100% barrel aged, mostly around 15 months, showing an adept use of new oak that is generally supportive and rarely intrusive. And while the highly polished house style dominates varietal character to an extent, at the same time it equalizes the ability to view individual varietal expression. My only criticism would be a tendency toward high alcohol across the board, with spirits sometimes dominating aromatic expression and textures. Perhaps further vine age will help resolve this issue.


Their portfolio includes nicely contrasted single varietals and two reserve cuvees: Dona Santana which follows a more traditional four grape Dao blend and Dona Georgina, primarily Touriga with a touch of Roriz.



Quinta de Lemos 2005 14.5% This matured blend of 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Roriz offers cherry cola and floral aromatics, velvety textures infused with with dried cherry flavors and supportive acidity. Drinking beautifully now, with great length and finesse, it still has many years ahead of it. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta de Lemos 2007 14%, This is a blend of 60% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Jaen and 10% Alfrocheiro. Aromas are a mix of smokey, toasted oak derived notes and red fruits. Textures are smooth and polished with nice mix of fruit running through and that’s well structured. Tasted 10.2012 Sells locally for 23eu.

Quinta de Lemos 2007 14.5% Like their reserve level ‘Georgina’ this has a higher Touriga Nacional content (80%), with 20% Roriz in support. Offering a complete, well integrated mix of black fruit and mineral aromas and lovely fruit flavors. This is a firmly tannins, linear style with fruit concentration running  throughout. Athought more accessible than Georgina now, it needs much more time in bottle and will reward with further cellaring—highly recommended. Sells locally for 40eu. Tasted 10.2012 Xxxx+

Quinta de Lemos Alfrocheiro 2008 14.5% Aromatically charged with spirity, mineral, berry-cherry fruits, this wine is very tightly constructed, with savoury black cherry flavors and touch of juiciness and vanilla warmth on the finish. A modernist approach to Dao style. Tasted 10.2012

Quinta de Lemos Dona Georgina 2008 14.5% This reserve blend of Touriga Nacional 80% and 20% Roriz is creamy smooth, front to finish. Brimming with black fruit and violet aromas and fresh juicy black fruit and spicy violet flavors.  Freshly fruited throughout, clean as a whistle, tightly constructed and as soave as they come. About 45eu Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta de Lemos Dona Santana 2008 14.5% This 2nd level traditional Dao blend of 60% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Jaen and 10% Alfrocheiro  is broadly floral with fresh fruit flavors. I liked its tightly knit, linear style, held up with long, fine grained tannins. Sells locally for 23eu. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta de Lemos Jaen 2007 14.5% Leading with licorice and dried black fruit aromas, it is smooth, slick and seamless in the mouth, with great fruit concentration, length and balance. An excellent example of Jaen, highly recommended Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta de Lemos Jaen 2008 14.5% Opens with a creamy smooth nose, with vanilla warmth and dried red fruits in background. It offers a tantilizing juiciness and firm, powdery tannins in the mouth. True to variety. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta de Lemos Roriz 2008 Spicy, raspberry aromas and flavors play through a full bodied wine, with grippy tannins. One of the more exciting, more complete pure Roriz bottlings I tasted in Dao from this vintage. Tasted 10.2012