Quinta dos Carvalhais

(parent company name: Sogrape)

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Sogrape, Portugal’s largest and one of its most progressive wine companies, have produced Dão wine since the late 1950s. Prior to purchasing Quinta dos Carvalhais in 1988, Sogrape bought up finished wines locally from co-ops and then blended and bottled these outside of the region as Dao wines.


One cannot overstate the importance of Quinta dos Carvalhais in driving the shift towards increased quality within Dao over the last two decades. After building a massive, modern winery within the Mangualde subregion (near Nelas and Alcafache) they provided growers with a viable alternative to co-ops. Perhaps more importantly, Carvalhais rewarded quality over quantity creating an economic incentive for growers to improve viticultural practices.

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Carvalhais Duque de Viseau 2010 13% An Encruzado dominant blend with Bical and Malvasia Fina, is spicer, more complex and more complete aromatically than Grao Vasco.  Fermented in stainless steel it shows fresh quince fruit purity, minerality and firm acidity.  It sells for 4eu locally. Tasted 10.2012

Carvalhais Duque de Viseau Tinto 2008 13% complex savory red fruit aromas and flavors with firm acidity and fruit through to finish.  Mainly a blend of Touriga Nacional with Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro in support, this wine stainless steel made with a kiss of oak stave flavoring. It is excellent value, offering a good representation of Dao’s classic blend at a sharp price. 4eu. Tasted 10.2012

Grao Vasco 2009 This blend of Jaen, Roriz and Touriga Nacional offers spicy red fruit aromas and flavors; soft, rounded textures with a touch of vanilla warmth on finish. Clean and nicely balanced it is great value, good commercial wine. Priced at 2.5eu locally. Tasted 10.2012 

Grao Vasco 2010 13% This classic blend of Encruzado, Bical and Malvasia Fina is solidly made, straightforward, commercial style that represents Dao’s basic white blend well: floral, clean, crisp, with balanced acidity. Sharply priced at 2.5eu locally. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta dos Carvalhais Alfrocheiro 2003 13.5% Aged in new oak barrels, aromas and flavors are more in cooked red and black fruit, raisin spectrum. Although concentrated, persistent, and well structured with firm, dusty tannins, I prefer this variety from a cooler vintage. But this illustrates its season well. About 14-15eu. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita 2007 14% This 50/50 blend of Encruzado and Verdelho   spends three years in neutral, old oak barrels. This is a tightly focused, linear style with complex aromas and flavors of pine, mineral, lanolin, wood and menthol driven forward by fresh, zingy acidity. Conceived as gastronomic it is a favorite with the national dish of dried codfish. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita 2009 13.5% This blend of Touriga Nacional, Roriz, Jaen and Alfrocheiro is matured in 1-2 year old oak barrels. Darkly fruited, black cherries, with Doa’s pin needle spiciness.  Pure, nicely concentrated, and linear, aromas are darkly fruited and spiced up with Dao’s signature pine needle florals. Persistent red and black fruit flavors are kept in check with a mix of firm tannins and purt acidity. 8-9eu locally. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita Tardia  2007 12.5% This late harvested blend of Semillon and Encruzado carries about 100 grams of residual sugar. Opening with fine toasty botrytis-influenced aromas, fresh green raisin flavors follow on, carried through a creamy smooth texture, beautifully balanced out with succulent acidity. Tasted 10.2012 

Quinta dos Carvalhais Encruzado 2010 Mainly barrel fermented this adds a 30% dash of stainless steel treated wine to freshen. Aromas and flavors share complex, lanolin, mineral and citrus characters.  Fleshy textures are laced with fruitiness and well balanced with a fine, fresh acidity. Around 13eu locally. Tasted 10.2012