Quinta de la Rosa – Douro, Portugal
Sophia Bergqvist visited us on Monday (1/21/19) and tasted us through the impressive range of her estate in the heart of Porto country. In 1988, Sophia and her father, Tim, restarted the family business at Quinta de la Rosa which had been in family hands since 1906. The family had previously sold all of their fruit to other Port Lodges; Sophia and Tim were the first to make their own wines.
Douro vineyards are rated on a scale of A through F, A being the highest quality. 100% of this Quinta’s vineyards are A-rated, and their wine comes exclusively from estate grapes. The quality of the fruit is evident in their wines, from dry to sweet, young to old. Most basic ruby and tawny porto is made from B to D-rated fruit – one look at Quinta de la Rosa’s “basic” ruby and tawny is all you need to realize these are much more serious products. Darker in color, more fragrant, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, with terrific intensity and balance, both are exceptionally fine ways to get to know Porto. In 2018 they made a special – and sensational – 30-year old tawny to commemorate their 30th year in business – we have pre-ordered a six-pack of 500ml bottles which will arrive in a couple of months.
Some say Porto is out of fashion, that folks are drinking much more dry wine. This may be true for now (fashions come and go), and Quinta de la Rosa, like many of their neighbors, makes an impressive range of dry Douro wines. Like the sweet wines, all fruit is estate-grown, and the dry wines are intensely flavored as well as beautifully balanced. The dry reds, made from classic Porto varietals (Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca) are as ripe as one would expect from a warm region, but always fresh and balanced by mouthwatering acids. Dry white wine from the Douro is the least known style – here they are made from the indigenous Viosinho, Rabigato and Codega – but in the hands of Quinta de la Rosa, they’re worth getting to know. If you’re a Porto lover, however, go get yourself a big wedge of the best Stilton cheese you can buy and serve it with one of Quinta de la Rosa’s fantastic Portos. Do it now, while it’s really cold outside…this combination will warm you right up.
Old Line Wine Manager