Text José Silva | Translation Bruno Ferreira
The purchase of Quinta da Boavista in 2013 was the second major investment of Marcelo Lima and Tony Smith in the wine world in Portugal. Now has come the time to present their first Douro wines.
The presentation took place in the “Yeatman” and it was a commented tasting by the responsibles of the company’s viticulture and enology: Gonçalo Lopes, Rui Cunha and the French consultant Jean Claude Berrouet, with over 50 years of experience producing great wines in the world, and accompanied by his son Jeff Berrouet. This junction between Portuguese and French proved to be very appropriate, because there were complementary opinions and experiences. Quinta da Boavista has a remarkable history attached to the Port wine and it was a place of refuge for the Baron of Forrester, who lived there for some time.
The terraces are very high, the vines are very old and very difficult to access, and they are worked with the use of mules, as has been done for hundreds of years. The “terroir” is amazing, providing the typicality that we so much enjoy in the Douro reds, associated to the most traditional grape varieties of the region: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Sousão, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca and Alicante Bouschet, putting these red wines on a very high level. Berrouet says that wine is a magical product, delicate, that conveys the history of a region and that its mission is to give us pleasure when we drink it. It’s what they want with the wines that are being produced there, to transmit the sensations that lead us to interpret that region and in particular this Quinta. Every year they will bottle a monovarietal wine.
In this first harvest it was the Boavista Touriga Nacional 2013, a wine full of elegance, souplesse, with personality and a great aromatic expression. At the same time this wine is sober, with structure, very fresh and has a great acidity, it will be interesting to follow its evolution. 2,000 bottles were bottled and its price will be about €22.
The combat wine will definitely be the Boavista Reserva 2013, a typical Douro in the glass, a blend full of elegance, intense, good volume, with everything in place. Beautiful acidity, slightly dry, sweet tooth, a gourmet wine, still young but promising of which were bottled 5,000 bottles and will cost about €40 each. Then they made two extraordinary wines from two very old vines, almost filigree, the Oratory Vineyard (Vinha do Oratório) and the Ujo Vineyard (Vinha do Ujo).
The Quinta da Boavista Vinha do Oratório 2013 is made from grapes from this vineyard that dates back to last century’s 30s, and is planted at between 70 and 160 meters with several sun exposures. It offers a lot of complexity, elegance, lots of ripe fruit, concentrated acidity and freshness, it’s an intense wine and still evolving, of which were bottled less than 1,000 bottles and will cost about €100 each.
Finally, another fantastic wine, Quinta da Boavista Vinha do Ujo 2013. This vineyard is planted at between 150 and 200 meters providing a silky but authoritative wine, always elegant and with some fruit on the nose. Beautiful volume of mouth, good acidity, great structure, very ripe fruit, long and a great end. A meditation wine, of which there are only about 1,000 bottles, less than €100 each. Wines that tell us what the terroir of Quinta da Boavista is and that, as Jean Claude Berrouet said, comes down to four words: soil, climate, plants and man.
The wines were enjoyed during a dinner at the “Yeatman”, which had an amuse bouche consisting of four appetizers, then a set of crustaceans and their froth with curry and cocoa shoots.
Then followed the John Dory, a set of sea flavors, including barnacles and octopus with glasswort. And finally the Marinhoa meat, grilled and accompanied by potato cream and spices.
For dessert we had rhubarb cream with kaffir lime, rhubarb meringue and mascarpone cheese ice cream. A nice battle between well-crafted wines and dishes.
The next day…
The next day we were summoned to the restaurant/seafood restaurant “Gaveto” in Matosinhos. Introducing the new vintages of Covela wines at the counter of a seafood restaurant?! It’s true, it was really like that.
It was different and fun. Within the counter were Gonçalo Lopes, Vítor Mendes and Rui Cunha, led by Tony Smith. Because the wine must also be served with humor. The first was the Covela Rosé 2015 made of Touriga Nacional. With the same flavor profile as before, extraordinary acidity, elegance and refinement. It is cool and dry, a gastronomic rosé.
The Avesso 2015 is extraordinarily fresh, velvety on the nose, somewhat exotic. In the mouth the freshness persists to which joins a vibrant, amazing acidity, making it a gluttonous wine. The Covela Arinto 2015 has the grape variety’s freshness quite evident, it’s persistent, very elegant, has some minerality, intense, tasty, with good volume, a healthy wine.
Meanwhile, at the counter were already the vinaigrette fish eggs and spicy small sardines, followed by barnacles and santiaguinhos, only boiled, tasting like the sea.
The zamburinhas, on the plate, were superb, full of roe. Then came the Covela Escolha 2014, with Avesso and Chardonnay, with refinement and elegance in the nose, silky, exotic, complex.
Great freshness and lots of acidity giving it balance, a special wine, that made good company to a superb lobster rice, a tradition in “Gaveto.” Mountain cheese and sponge cake from Ovar to end with in the company of a very special Covela 2007 red, already a rarity. With the coffee or with more cheese and sponge cake, came two very tasty Covela’s grape marc spirits. One, made from only white grapes, is more aromatic, more floral and has 40% alcohol. The other, prepared from red grapes, is more powerful, more full-bodied and has 50% alcohol. Powerful!!
There, at counter the conversation remained lively…