March 22, 2011

Quinta do Perdigão – A Visit and Tasting

By In Photographs, Vineyard & Wine Travel
José PerdigãoWe spilled from the coach; post lunch stupor slipping away in the cold Dão air. Picking at some vines, Touriga Nacional as it transpired, was José Perdigão. We shook hands.

An animated speech followed as we walked through the gate and down the gravel path towards his house. He points out the high density planting of the Touriga, a small parcel of Jaen tucked under a sun-reflecting stone wall, and some vines he thinks are Tinta Roriz but isn’t sure…

The estate is small, just 7 hectares. The output though runs to six different wines.

We are diverted away from the yet to be completed house to a single story shack. A horse stands rock still just across a large pond. We are joined by a dog and José’s English wife; an artist who designed the abstracts that grace the wines.

A tour of the shack reveals barrels crammed into one corner, stainless steel tanks line another wall, and through the back – mind your head on the wooden beam – the small bottling and labelling line. We wonder at the purpose of two great walls of bottles – permanent or just waiting to be filled? But José is off again extoling the virtues of the French wax top over the inferior local produce. Attention to detail is all…

Back out passing the tanks. I lean on some barrels and take a photo. They contain the rosé apparently and our first sample of Quinta do Perdigão’s output.
José gets more animated and passionate as he pours, little snippets of info are given to everyone as he pours out a generous sample. The rosé is first – Quinta do Perdigao Rosé 2009, Dao, Portugal [Adegga / Snooth]. Did he really recommend it with roast beef? “the colour of the flowers of the japonica bush” he sighs as my glass is filled. It’s a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen and Alfrocheiro, dry, weighty with a vibrancy that is quite entrancing.

I wander around the back of the winery, its messy. Detritus of building work – the main house still isn’t completed – jumbled pieces of masonary, walls, trellising wires, plastic sheeting seemingly randomly piled. Totally the opposite of the wines.

A white is being poured – Quinta do Perdigão Reserva 2009 [Adegga / Snooth] and a new grape to me – Encruzado. Research indicates that the impression of superb balance in the wine is intrinsic to the grape; to quote Charles Metcalf in his The Wine and Food Lover’s Guide to Portugal “it deserves to be more widely planted”. It was lovely and fresh with a melange of “lychees, pear, peach, papaya and honey” to quote José.

Of the following four reds it was the Quinta do Perdigão Reserva 2005 [Adegga / Snooth] quickly followed by the Quinta do Perdigão Touriga Nacional 2008 [Adegga / Snooth] that really excited the palate. The Reserva, a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen and Alfrocheiro and a magnificent dousing of oak, gave a really complex taste – tea and violets said one, plum and herbs another. A certain edge of chocolate and violets to be sure but chamomile and bergamot?? Its fine structure should ensure decent aging potential.

The single grape wine was also marvellous – a diva according to José who handed round sticks of chocolate covered bitter orange to accompany. Notes of coffee, chocolate and an edge of sweetness entwine, plus a complexity of blueberry and violets. Someone mentioned tea; but I never drink tea so that passed me by. A lovely elegant wine that had me hankering after a plate of game; despite only consuming a huge rustic lunch just an hour or two before…

wine barrells in Quiinta do Perdigão, Dao, Portugal
the wine line up Quinta do Perdigão

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  1. The London Foodie March 22, 2011

    I love Portuguese wines, particularly from Touriga Nacional and Alvarinho varieties. I wish these were more commonly available in the UK, I should go back to Portugal more often.
    Luiz @ The London Foodie


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