To share moments, ideas and experiences with other oenologists or people connected to wines is something that I have always liked and encouraged. So, I decided to create the brand Sidecar.
Each year I will challenge a friend to produce wine in my wine cellar, in Mora.
They will decide how to interpret this region’s fantastic vineyards…. by driving the motorcycle! For Sidecar’s first edition, I invited an old friend who has a unique, pioneer and extraordinary vision on wines: Dirk Niepoort.
– Open ruby colour, red fruit aromas and some vegetal nuances, similar to moss. In the mouth is fresh, elegant and complex. Alentejo… very Burgundian.
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Ripe notes of pineapple, blood orange and guava intertwine with herbal notes of asparagus and freshly mown grass. Dry, fresh and crisp on the palate with good persistence. An excellent aperitif or pair with goats’ cheese salad. Enjoy over the next couple years.
Clear and bright, intense garnet colour, with crimson reflections. Lively refreshing aroma, notes of spices, cinnamon, white pepper. The deeper bouquet has notes of wild berries, black plums and citrus. Very smooth and fresh on the palate, with silky tannins, balanced and easy to drink.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast
“This densely structured, finely crafted wine is the latest vintage from one of the Douro’s iconic brands. It has great weight and, at the same time, elegant fruits and structure that offer good aging potential. It could be drunk now, but best to wait until 2016.”
A blend of native varietal Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ripe blackcurrant notes on the nose and palate with a touch of violet and hint of spice. 12 months maturation in French oak has added complexity and structure. Enjoy with roast beef. Enjoy within 2-5 years of vintage.
In The Press
‘Wild blackberry and heady violet on the nose. On the palate, it’s silky and savory. Juicy fruit, whiffs of vanilla and sandalwood, and hints of cedar and bitter nut skin on the finish. Assertive yet approachable tannins.’ – 91 Pts. Excellent, Highly Recommended, Ultimate Wine Challenge 2017.
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.
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.
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)