The annual New Douro tasting is a great opportunity not just to assess a vintage but also to catch up with latest developments. Looking back over my notes from previous years, the number of New Douro producers has increased, as has the number of white wines and the range of wines.
I’m particularly excited to see more mid-priced, terroir-driven wines, which bring the Douro’s unique qualities to a wider audience. In fact, if there’s a wine that’s stayed with me after the tasting it’s Jorge Moreira’s Pó de Poeira Red 2008. Moreira has always favoured elegance over power and it seems to me that a less is more mentality is creeping into the Douro – I hope so, bigger is not necessarily better!
And speaking with a former supermarket buyer at a Wine Workshop I presented on behalf of ViniPortugal in Harrogate yesterday, I’m not the only one who thinks so – Quinta do Noval Cedro do Noval 2007, Niepoort Drink Me 2008, Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Red 2008 and Quinta do Vallado Red 2008 seduced with their charms.
As for whites, Wine & Soul Guru 2009 and Alves de Sousa Reserva Pessoal Branco 2005 could not be more different, the latter putting me in mind of a Josko Gravner Friuli amphora-aged wine. The New Douro continues to excite – check out my tasting notes on my regional report page here and click here for my earlier report on the Douro Boys’ 2008 red and 2009 white releases.