Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Bruno Ferreira
Real Companhia Velha’s portefolio of wines produced at Quinta de Cidrô is based on a surprising collection of domestic and foreign grape varieties. Located near São João da Pesqueira, with over 150 hectares of vineyards, its first plantations date back to the end of the XIX century, when its beautiful and imposing Palace was built. Quinta de Cidrô was bought by Real Companhia Velha in 1972 and was subject of a necessary restructuring, both the vineyards and the palace. They bought new plots and planted new vineyards in a vertical system, as you can see in the photo.
In a concept that we can say of irreverence and innovation, the white varieties such as Chardonnay, Boal, Alvarinho, Sauvignon Blanc or Gewurztraminer or the reds such as Pinot Noir, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rufete have been filling our glasses of aromas and flavors from Quinta de Cidrô. In conversation we learnt that amidst the white varieties is lacking the Riesling, which surely will be planted there in the near future. Most certainly the freshness of the Quinta de Cidrô’s lands will welcome the new lodger as it has done with all the others and showing such good results.
Having Quinta do Sidrô 1996 in mind and comparing with the latest Quinta de Cidrô Chardonnay 2015 we can understand the successful path that this house has taken in recent years. The tasting had a handful of white and rosé wines, a total of 6, and all of them showing lively and well defined flavors. An increasingly refined and elegant profile with the Douro marking their souls. An evolution across vintages where the wines are increasingly showing the many charms of the place where they were born.
Quinta de Cidrô Alvarinho 2015: Showing freshness in a very focused and cohesive set, structured and marked by the Douro terroir with orchard fruit notes, citrus and a slight mineral austerity in the background. Good palate, tasty and fruit marking the flavors in a cool, dry finish.
Quinta de Cidrô Sauvignon Blanc 2015: Still very young. Expressive in a mix of austere fruit of a more tropical character and a touch of lemon candy. Fresh vegetable (asparagus), cohesive set with a medium tone palate as far as presence goes. The fruit is less present than in the nose, finishing fresh and with good persistence.
Quinta de Cidrô Boal 2014: The Semillon grape variety is known in the Douro as Boal, so the wine changes its name, but fortunately nothing else has changed keeping all its charms. It is clearly one of my favorites of the tasting. A full and entangling wine that marks us with its freshness and the warmer tone that the wood gives it. Full and rich in flavors and aromas with the acidity completely dominating its spirit. One of those to have, drink and, if you’re able, to keep.
Quinta de Cidrô Chardonnay 2015: It’s already a classic and one of the most successful Chardonnay wines made in Portugal for years now. The wine is now more elegant and refined and we can feel the winemaker’s hand. A slight feeling of toasted bread, very subtle wood with freshness and elegance of orchard fruit, underhanded pineapple. Closely-knit but at the same time delicate, clean and captivating.
Quinta de Cidrô Gewurztraminer 2015: Aroma full of lychees and rose petals, full of freshness in a very direct aroma that saturates the nose and even the palate, almost always a mixture of freshness with rose water. The problem is mine I’m sure, because rare are the cases of wines made from grape variety that have conquered me, this is no exception and it was the one I liked the least of the tasting.
Quinta de Cidrô Rosé 2015: A Rosé made from Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. Shows up dry with smoked touch, a mix of red fruits and flowers (Santa Teresinha roses). The palate replicates the aforementioned, marked by very tasty fruit and a good dryness in the end.