Wine Wednesday: Coimbra De Mattos 1858 Port Valriz

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Coimbra De Mattos was one of the older estates I visited during my trip to the Douro Valley in September. The family has 55 hectares and produces port wines and still wines from a host of indigenous grape varieties. The sell their port wines under the brand Valriz while their still wines are sold under the brand names Quinta dos Mattos, Quinta de Laceira and Quinta das Condessas.  They have seven quintas as part of the group.

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The family which has lived in Calafura for over seven generations is a descendant of Francisco Ayres de Carvalho and Maria de Mattos who lived on the property in the 17th century and were focused on viticulture.

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We tried a number of their wines and ports and I enjoyed many but the stand-out was the 1858 tawny. It was fantastic and had hints of dried fig, nuts, carmel, fresh fruit and even great acidity with a rich long finish. Apparently over the years as evaporation takes place, the acidity becomes even more explosive. It was fantastic and such a treat. In the past I had tasted one older port, Scion, an 1855 port from Taylor Fladgate.

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What a memorable experience both of these amazing ports were. The family was very generous to share this wine with us, they only have 600 bottles of it.

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We met this father and son team who share this gem with us. Apparently the older gentleman’s father only opened one bottle of the wine throughout his life, at his wedding.

I also liked their white port which was salty with racy acidity made from Malvasia Fina, Gouveio, Rabigato and Siría.

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The 20 year old tawny was another standout with dried fruit, vanilla, oak, bramble and nuts on the palate as well as a rich and layered finish. It was made from Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. Apparently Tinta Amarela is a thinner skinned grape than the others. It was the first time during the trip that someone spoke about this particular variety. Tinta Roriz is of course Tempranillo by another name.

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The 40 year old Port Valriz was also exceptional with great concentration and aromas of coffee, chocolate and dried fruit and nuts. Again, the acidity was surprising and exciting.

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It was a truly gorgeous location and they showed us photos of how the pipes were brought down the mountain on oxen to the river. It had a lot of history and I was impressed with the owners and their humble approach. I found that at many of the wineries but not all.

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I  am enjoying looking through  my notes and the photos from this magical trip which was a real gift and a surprise. Feliz Ano Novo!

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