Quinta dos Murças – Assobio Tinto, Douro, 2012
Deep ruby with violet edges. Perfumed and spicy with notes of blueberries. Round and full bodied palate with youthful fruit and integrated tannins. Finishes with good balancing acidity.
94 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“Assobio is from a single vineyard in the Quinta dos Murças estate. A powerful, structured expression of Douro wine, it has black fruits, dark tannins, some subtle layers of wood aging and great concentration. Dark and richly fruity, it needs to mature before drinking. Wait until 2017.” R.V. (4/1/2014)
The first mention of the property Quinta dos Murças dates back to 1770. However, it is known that the farm had existed under another name since 1714, when it belonged to António Cardoso de Vasconcelos. It is presumed that the name Quinta dos Murças was given as a reference to the nobleman of the royal household, Miguel Carlos Cardoso de Sousa de Morais Colmeeiro Teles e Távora, First-Captain of the town of Murça and owner of Murças since 1756. Despite numerous references to the quality of Quinta dos Murças’ wines, the fact is that the vineyards were constantly neglected with the farm passing from family to family and from company to company until 1943, when Manuel Pinto de Azevedo took over the running of the quinta, renovating the estate and replanting the vineyards. Under the guidance of the committed agronomist José de Freitas Sampaio, Quinta dos Murças was totally transformed, establishing the first vinha ao alto (vertically-trained vines) in Douro in 1955, as well as the first auto-vinification system used in the region, in addition to a new warehouse and winery. Quinta dos Murças remained in the hands of the family until 2008, when the Esporão Group acquired the property from Manuel Pinto de Azevedo’s great-grandchildren, taking over the running of one of the most interesting estates in Cima Corgo.
Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional
Vintage Port 3-bottle Collection, 2007
A delight for any Port lover, these three ports come in a beautifully crafted wooden box from the outstanding 2007 vintage
Ramos Pinto – Late Bottled Vintage Port, Unfiltered, 2012
LBV Unfiltered comes from one single year and one single harvest. Whereas its richer cousin, the Vintage, is bottled in the second year, this wine is bottled in the fourth year. Smoother than the Vintage, more developed and easier to drink. It is a powerful, defiant, full-bodied and harmonious wine. It is a wine familiar with the flavours of chocolate and cheese. After the bottle is opened it remains at its best for a further 15 to 30 days, if properly stored. It is a wine that is not filtered and can therefore either be drunk immediately or be left forgotten in a cellar, developing further complexity.
93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“The tannins are rather drying and aggressive on first pour, even if the big fruit is also front-and-center. It is certainly a very different vision of LBV Port than a lot of people will be accustomed to, but it does begin to come around with extended aeration (and a couple of days in the fridge). Fragrant and laced with strong fruit flavors, this ultimately showed beautifully. It really needs some more time in the cellar, but it is approachable if you give it some aeration.”
Gold Medal Decanter World Wine Awards
“Gold Medal World Wine Awards 2014 – Gold Medal & Regional Trophy – Vibrant and full of rich fruit, this is still youthful in colour and shows both ripeness and pleasing restraint on the nose. Spice notes, violet, lavender and deep, dark fruit flavours have lovely freshness, and firm, ripe tannins give good grip. Nicely defined with plenty of complexity to keep it going.” June 2014
Grapes varieties: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca.
Food pairing: Cheese soufflé, Partridge with glazed shallots and artichokes, Game, Cheeses, Chocolate and red fruits desserts.
Ramos Pinto. History.
Founded in 1880 by brothers Adriano and Antonio, this Port house has always had a pioneering spirit. In the early 20th century it became noted for its innovative and enterprising commercial strategies including the distinctive art nouveau advertising campaign.
Among Port producers, Ramos Pinto enjoys the distinction of holding the largest proportion of vineyards in relation to its production, giving them a high degree of control over viticultural methods at harvest time. The House tends 187 hectares (460 acres) of prime vineyards in the Alto Corgo and Douro Superior areas of the famed Douro region, the mountainous valleys formed by the Douro River and its tributaries.
All situated in the areas of the Cima-Corgo and the Douro Superior, the four quintas or estates that make up Ramos Pinto’s holdings are:
Quinta do Bom Retiro: in Pinhão, planted exclusively with red varieties.
Quinta da Urtiga: adjacent to Bom Retiro.
Quinta da Ervamoira: in the far upper Douro, by the Côa river near the Spanish border. Here the grapes grow in dry semi-desert conditions.
Quinta dos Bons Ares: a cooler site with some of the highest vineyards in the Douro. Both red and white varieties ripen here with great natural acidity and fresh flavours.
The award-winning 10, 20 and 30 year old Tawnies are produced at Quinta da Ervamoira and Bom Retiro respectively.
Vintage Port 3-bottle Collection, 2011
A delight for any Port lover, this beautifully crafted wooden box houses three wines from the stellar 2011 vintage from the houses of Fonseca, Taylor’s and Croft.
Fonseca Vintage Port 2011
97-99 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“The Fonseca 2011 is typically more forthcoming on the nose compared to the bashful Croft: a strident bouquet with lifted scents of freshly picked blackberries, kirsch, crushed stone and a dash of Hoi Sin and oyster sauce. It is very well-defined, very focused and direct. The palate is silky smooth with not a rough edge in sight, though not a typically voluptuous Fonseca because of the keen thread of acidity and the structure that lends this mighty Port wonderful backbone. A slight viscosity on the finish lacquers the tongue and indicates a core of sweet fruit is ticking away underneath that will surely explode several years after bottling. A tincture of salted licorice on the aftertaste is very attractive. This will turn out to become an outstanding Fonseca, the growing season taming its exuberance with spectacular results. So much potential, but just 6,000 cases were produced.” (NM) (6/2013)
98 Points Wine Spectator
“Massive, concentrated and powerful, this offers lush, heady flavors of dark plum, blackberry and cherry tart, with touches of anise. Shows plenty of grip as well, featuring a long, rich finish of dark chocolate, toffee and cream. Best from 2040 through 2060.” (2/2014)
97 Points Wine Enthusiast
“A powerful, spicy wine, luscious in its peppered berry fruits and sweet tannins. The structure is dramatic, offering a smooth texture as well as a drier core. With its weight, density and dark, final character. This is a wine for serious aging.” (11/2013)
96 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Bright, saturated dark ruby. Spectacularly multifaceted nose combines high-pitched medicinal cherry, briary black raspberry, pungent menthol, dried herbs, incense, Indian spices and a whiff of passion fruit. Boasts great creamy depth and vinosity to its black raspberry and licorice flavors, with huge sweetness buffered by spicy minerality. The note of passion fruit carries through on the palate. Really reverberates on the back end, finishing with powerful tannins and a rising whiplash of flavor. This got better and better with extended aeration, with the tannins making it obvious that it will be extremely long-lived.” (5/2014)
95 Points James Suckling
“Very grapy and leafy with hints of spices on the nose. Full body, medium sweet with fine, chewy tannins. Powerful, long finish with nuts and shaved chocolate. This young Fonseca has grip. 6,000 cases produced of this foot-trodden wine. Try in 2022.” (5/2013)
19.5/20 Points.Jancis Robinson
“Heady, opulent nose. Completely enveloping, Smells as though there is going to be the most fabulous texture. Wow! All stops pulled out for this one. It’s all absolutely gorgeous intensity of sweet fruit on the front palate and then gradually the schist and structure reveal themselves. This is really wonderful stuff. So tempting to sip it decades before it is ready.” (5/2013)
Ramos Pinto – Vintage Port, 2000
An exceptional dark color with blue tones. It presents a complex ensemble of aromas that combines red fruit compote, ripe plum and small-berried fruits with notes of dark chocolate and pepper. Elegant and well-structured on the palate, extremely full-bodied and full of fruit flavors, a good concentration and firm tannins that will give it great aging potential. A seductive, warm finish that is long-lasting and velvety.
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
“Herbal scents accent the nose of this Port, which otherwise shows pleasant plum and cocoa aromas. More plum on the palate, joined by black cherries and spice. It’s lush and intense, turning a little tart on the finish. Tannins are supple and not overly prominent, even at this young age.” W.E. – November 15, 2003
91 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Seductive, sexy, accessible. Dense with jammy red & black fruits, smoke, earth, licorice. Sweet, layered, full-bodied. Now-2020”
90 Points International Wine Cellar
“Moderately saturated medium ruby. Expressive aromas of black fruits, smoke, tree bark and tobacco, with a slightly green note of roasted herbs. Lush, suave and seamless, with concentrated flavors of black cherry, plum, menthol and tree bark. Not particularly powerful or structured but finishes firmly tannic and long, with a suggestion of walnut skin.” Stephen Tanzer – February 2003
This wine has a lively, young, vibrant color. It is thick and dense, showing whole red fruit, typical of the Douro region. In the glass, it has thick droplets that demonstrate power and softness. On the nose, the first impression is still, yet promising. Notes of blackberry, currant, cherry, raspberry, black plum, jam, and a mixture of fruit slowly reappear, giving the wine complexity and presence. In the mouth, the attack is full, supported by whole delicate tannins and signs of a long life. The 2000 vintage is ready to consume now, or can be cellared for more complexity.
The year 1999/2000 was a dry and hot year. There was less precipitation than usual that caused premature budding to occur and persistent rain from late Apr-May delayed flowering. A dry spell from late May until harvest slowed the grape maturation, which caused high concentrated grapes and a good sanitary status.
The harvest was delayed two weeks later than usual due to the slow grape maturation, keeping small concentrated grapes with good sugar degrees but with high acidity.
The production was inferior to that in 1999, but the quality of the wine was very. The Ervamoira wine was excellent, with good structure, deep color and body. The white wine at Bons Ares were delicious and complex, and at Bom Retiro the wine was phenomenal. All signs were present that a vintage wine would be produced since the first moment of harvest.
Varietal(s) 60% Touriga Nacional, 15%Tinta Roriz, 10% Tinta Barroca, 15% traditional varietals
Aging 20 months in large oak vats, chestnut-tree wood or mahogany
Wine Acidity 4.12%
pH Level 3.88
Residual Sugar 89.2
Herdade do Esporão – Alandra Tinto, Alentejo, 2015
Youthful, ruby colour. Fresh berry, fruity aromas. Fresh, bright, packed with red fruits and some soft tannin.
84 Points Wine Enthusiast (2011 vintage)
“This wine is a blend created using grapes sourced from vineyard sites, giving it a ripe, full-bodied character. It is smooth, almost New-World in style, but with an edge of tannins and acidity. Drink this wine now.” — R.V. (12/1/2012)
Fonseca – Vintage Port, 2007
94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2007 Fonseca Vintage Port is opaque purple-colored with a high-class perfume of lavender, Asian spices, pencil lead, incense, and an amalgam of black fruits. On the palate it is voluminous with layered, succulent fruit, outstanding density, and excellent integration of tannin, acidity, and alcohol. The long finish and the wine’s impeccable balance suggest a lengthy evolution and a drinking window extending out to 2045.” (2/2010)
96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A limpid purple garnet core. The nose is quintessential Fonseca, like a riotous party reaching its crescendo in the glass. Macerated black cherries, eau-de-vie, damson, fig and a touch of Seville orange. Then what is fascinating is that the uproar dies down with aeration, becomes more focused…as if the host has asked everyone to quieten down. The palate is powerful and spicy on the entry, sweet ripe black berried fruits, a touch of spice, fig and apricot, lovely cohesion and weight building towards a deeply joyous finish that lacquers the mouth in port-like reverie. Perhaps more approachable than the 2000 or the 2003 at this stage, this is a marvellous Fonseca.” Neal Martin May 2009 – Score 96
94 Points Wine Spectator
“A subtle yet powerful young Vintage Port, with freshly sliced plum, citrus and mulberry on the nose. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a solid core of powerful tannins and a long, balanced finish. So tight and reserved. Muscularly structured. Best after 2017.” (5/2010)
Fonseca has belonged to the first rank of Vintage Port producers since the mid-nineteenth century. Fonseca Vintage Ports are noted for their luscious fruitiness which develops great opulence and complexity with age. Wines born of inspired winemaking and a thorough understanding of viticulture and terroir, they appeal, perhaps more than any other house’s Vintage Ports, to the enthusiast and connoisseur.Vintage Ports represent the finest produce of a single exceptional year. Unlike Ports which age in wood, Vintage Ports will continue to age and improve in bottle for decades, their character bearing the imprint of both vineyard and wine maker.A constant thread that runs through the history of Fonseca is the family’s close involvement with the making of the firm’s Vintage Ports. Throughout the 20th century, the making of Fonseca Vintage Ports was overseen by only four family members, Frank, Dorothy, Bruce and David Guimaraens and this has helped to make Fonseca one of the most stylistically consistent of Vintage Port producers.The firm’s Vintage Ports are drawn from its own quintas or estates: Cruzeiro and Santo António in the Pinhão Valley, which have contributed to the firm’s Vintage Port blend for 100 years, as well the Távora Valley property of Panascal. Fonseca is unique among Port houses in making three different types of Vintage Port.
Fonseca Vintage Ports are released only when a year produces outstanding wines with long term ageing potential. These classic Vintage Ports are a blend of wines from Cruzeiro, Santo António and Panascal. Cruzeiro contributes concentrated black fruit flavours and firm tannic ‘grip’. Panascal adds an opulent luscious fruitiness and a dense velvety texture. Finally, Santo António brings complexity and vibrancy with its fine scented character and fresh acidity.
Although they can be enjoyed when young, Fonseca Vintage Ports will continue to improve in bottle for many decades. They have the stamina and aromatic potential to last for over a hundred years. Attracting the highest scores and auction prices, they are favoured not only by fine wine enthusiasts but also by collectors and investors.
Croft – Vintage Port, 2007
Deep purple black with narrow magenta rim. The heady and powerfully aromatic nose displays a characteristic abundance of rich plump fruit and the exotic notes of eucalyptus and rock rose which are the hallmark of the Quinta da Roêda wines on which the blend is based. Juicy and luscious on the palate, with discreet and well fused tannins and a long generous finish.
93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“There is a nice limpidity on this Croft 2007. It is not the power that strikes you but the purity with black cherries, liquorices, violets and a hint of iodine. Very tight and focused. The palate is full-bodied with chewy tannins on the entry, pure blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and Asian spice towards the finish. Very fine focus, very pure and harmonious. Sensuous finish but it just tapers away when I need more grip and assertiveness. Still, this is a lovely Croft.” Neal Martin, May 2009.
92 points Wine Spectator.
“Shows aromas of very ripe fruit and sweet tobacco, with hints of earth and spices. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with round, velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. Likeable for its soft texture. Best after 2016. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.” (05/09)
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The 2007 growing season was preceded by a wet winter that replenished water reserves after four hot, dry years. The humid conditions continued into spring and early summer with lower than average temperatures combined with periods of rain. There were no significant periods of intense heat during the summer months. This ensured that the leaf canopies were in an exceptionally healthy condition and able to benefit from the warm weather that preceded the harvest.
The first two weeks of September saw constant daily temperatures of between 35ºC and 38ºC. These warm and dry conditions brought the crop to perfect maturity, advancing the production of sugar and phenolics while retaining the excellent natural acidity resulting from the relatively cool summer. As a result the harvest produced perfectly balanced musts which have produced stylish and elegant wines, full of vitality, with a superb fresh concentrated fruit character.
Herdade do Esporão – Duas Castas, Alentejo, 2015
Pale lemon colour. An elegant and refreshing white wine with notes of citrus fruits and green apples. Lovely concentration and a pleasant finish.
88 Points Wine Enthusiast
“Duas Castas, two grapes, is a blend of Gouveio and Antão Vaz. Together they give a smooth, fruity wine, tangy in orange zest and bright acidity. The wine has weight and richness, with delicious hints of white peach to finish.”
Located in the heart of the Alentejo region, the Herdade do Esporão Estate was established in 1267. Having passed through various families and Counts of the region, the property has been owned by the Roquette family since 1973. Their first wine was bottled in 1985.