On my recent trip to Portugal I was able to taste a wide array of still wines and fortified wines or ports which I had expected. The plethora of grape varieties and diversity of style, however, I did not. I also had no idea that there was another grape variety that we would sample in a couple of different versions – Moscatel.
José António Guedes from Quinta Das Lamelas had one that I enjoyed in the sweeter version with 150-200 g/l of residual sugar. While quite sweet I didn’t find it cloying.
Casa de Quinta das Laranjeiras was founded in 1836. They have about 22 hectares in the Douro Valley which are planted with the traditional local grape varieties. They are well-known for their white ports, made from Moscatel Galego, Fernao Pires, Malvasia Fina e Gouveio. We tried a number of them that I really enjoyed. A nice balance of acidity and alcohol as well as sweetness, salinity and fruity and floral aromas. I found them complex and satisfying.
One of the amazing parts of our visit to the Douro was seeing all of the family homes that had their own churches. This family had an impressive one across the street from their home which looked to be quite old. They also still have lagares that are used to foot tread grapes.