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The Duoro has a new rockstar! This dry blend of white grapes is an absolute stunner. You can certainly forget for a moment that this region is famous for its dessert wines with just how delicious this white is. A perfect wine for seafood, or just early evening crushing. This wine is built for the cellar, but why wait? it's perfect right now!
Located 60 miles inland from Porto, Quinta de la Rosa is set in the heart of the Alto Douro, with steep terraced vineyards that give the impression of tumbling into the river below. The estate is situated on the southeast facing banks of the River Douro, one kilometer from Pinhão in the Cima Corgo region. Run by Sophia Bergqvist and ably assisted by her brother, Philip, Quinta de la Rosa has been in the family for over 100 years. The estate was given as a christening present for Claire Feueheerd, Sophia’s grandmother, in 1906. Though they were the first growers to produce a Single Quinta port from La Rosa's grapes, the family was known exclusively for their farming expertise—selling all their grapes to bigger bodegas like Croft and Sandeman. The family port shipping company, Feueheerd, was sold in the 1930s but La Rosa was kept and run by Sophia’s grandmother, Claire.
In 1988 Sophia and her late father, Tim Bergqvist, decided to restart the family business and launched Quinta de la Rosa, a top-quality port producer, onto the marketplace. Starting in the early 1990s, the Bergqvist family was one of the pioneers in taking table wine production in the Douro region seriously. Quinta de la Rosa’s red and white table wines have won many accolades in the press and are sold in many prestigious restaurants and wine stores around the world.
The Bergqvist family is now known as a pioneer of the Douro. As farmers first, the terroir-driven quality of Quinta de la Rosa’s red wines has been credited with helping put the region on the map for serious oenophiles. The 2002 hiring of Jorge Moreira (a mentee of Dirk Niepoort and now one of the most respected winemakers in Portugal) has only further established the estate’s reputation. Moreira’s obsessive focus on coaxing maximum minerality out of its schist soils is second only to his advocacy of old, native Portuguese varieties.
All eight of Quinta de la Rosa’s single vineyards (a total of 55 hectares) are A-graded. La Rosa is fortunate in having great diversity in its vineyards ranging from altitudes along the banks of the River Douro up to 400 meters above sea level. The older dry stone-walled vineyards are planted with mixed varieties where vines are at least 50 years old and yields as low as 10 hectoliters per hectare. The newer vineyards (‘patamares’) date from the early seventies and are block planted with the approved varieties — Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, and Tinta Cão. This allows head winemaker, Jorge Moreira, and his team to annually produce the highest possible quality of 50,000 liters of port and 100,000 liters of table wine (on average) from grapes of differing physiological attributes. All Quinta de la Rosa wines and Ports are estate grown, estate produced, and estate-bottled. The Quinta de La Rosa ‘house’ style is to make well-defined, elegant wines and ports without over-extraction and without too much tannin or oak. The wines are rich and full-bodied while maintaining freshness and good acidity.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of stone fruit, herbs, and minerals. On the palate, rich and complex but without any excesses; acidity is present but tamed. The wine has a good potential to age but will also be perfect for drinking right now
Judiciously wood-aged, this is a spicy wine, with layers of rich white-fruit flavors. The wine has a crisp side and textured acidity to go with its ripeness and give a fine lift to the aftertaste. Drink this wine from 2021 ~91 Wine Enthusiast
The 2019 Branco is a blend of 36% Códega, 14% Rabigato, and 23% Viosinho, with the remainder in a field blend, mostly Arinto and Rabigato. That does make the blend a little different this year, and it was bottled earlier. It was aged for five months in a 57/43 blend of stainless steel and mostly used French oak. It comes in at 13% alcohol. A surprisingly solid Branco that still seems like a fully fresh white, this has fine depth for the level, coating the palate nicely, while retaining both freshness and grip on the lingering finish. It is serious, tightly wound, and still a little fruity. This seems like an overachiever just now, granting that it is not the type of white that I normally expect to see in rarefied air. It does need to prove that it can hold, and perhaps develop, better than I usually expect it to. It was actually a touch closed when it was tasted. In the meanwhile, it shows so great in its youth, that it is worth leaning up on it today. Note: This entry-level Branco was formerly called "douRosa," but it has long since been rebranded. In the past, when it was basically considered a Reserva in quality, it was often exceptional. For the new branding, and hence the new entry-level, this seems like a big step forward this vintage. It might not age as well as the actual Reserva Branco this issue, but right now it holds its own pretty well. ~90 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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