Text José Silva | Translation Bruno Ferreira
This Ribatejo property has almost 300 years and it’s said that Pina Manique may once have lived over there. It was bought by the businessman Canas da Costa. For his daughter Sílvia, an architect, it was love at first sight. Besides the impeccable restoration of the manor-house, where now runs a beautiful rural tourism with 11 suites, Sylvia fell completely in love with the vineyards.
And thus was born a successful wine project by hiring the winemaker Jaime Quendera and his tremendous experience. The vines are aged between 15 and 25 years, with indigenous grape varieties but also some from other regions, and even some foreign ones that have adapted to that soil and climate: Arinto, Tamarez, Trincadeira das Pratas, Tincadeira Preta, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet.
Thanks to the predominantly clay-limestone soils with a big influence of the Tejo river water, which used to invade the margins with its ancestral floods, these wines acquire not only acidity but also some minerality that makes them desirable. In Rural tourism they also throw events where the house’s wines are drank alongside meals made in the huge and well-equipped kitchen or prepared by a friend of this house, Mr. Afolfo Henriques, the well-known man from the village of Maçussa.
The 11 suites are all different. On some of them the existing spaces were recovered and have many pieces of furniture that were also recovered, beautiful. The central building, square, has huge yard with shady trees providing a beautiful effect. Around the house we find the vineyards and some olive trees shaping the landscape of the whole Quinta. In the Quinta’s set of buildings we find the cellar, small, simple but well-equipped, including the barrels’ room that are essential to age some of the reds that we all enjoy.
This time I’ll write about a meal that culminated with the presentation of the Quinta da Lapa’s new vintages. First the bread, from Maçussa that Adolfo Henriques himself bakes, crispy outside and fluffy inside, tasty, irresistible. Then we had some snacks: melon with ham, tasty and fresh, exquisite cod roes with dried tomato, smoked salmon, velvety with a sophisticated taste and, of course, the Maçussa’s chèvre cheese, both natural and breaded with arugula and jam. Wonderful.
The main course was a delicious roasted kid with rice, mushrooms and roasted potatoes. On the side a simple but superb salad of lettuce and red onion.
The meal ended with a chocolate cake in good company, a true delicacy.
Then we tasted Quinta da Lapa’s new vintages, starting with the sparkling Quinta da Lapa Bruto Natural made with the Arinto grape variety. Great freshness and elegance, the acidity always very present, a beautiful sparkling wine.
The Quinta da Lapa Reserva White 2014 made with Arinto and Tamarez is very fresh on the nose with some tropical and citrus notes. Mouth full of freshness and balanced acidity.
There are several monovarietal wines starting with the Quinta da Lapa Touriga Nacional 2012, a grape variety that adapted quite well there. Very aromatic, floral and elegant intensity. The palate is persistent, intense, with very good fruit, good acidity and a long finish.
The Quinta da Lapa Merlot 2013 shows itself authoritative, fiery, with ripe black fruit and some chocolate notes. Beautiful volume, well-married tannins and intense acidity, a very balanced set.
The Quinta da Lapa Syrah Reserva 2012 has black fruit aromas and some spices. It’s complex and intense. In the mouth it has large volume, it’s powerful but balanced at the same time, with silky tannins and a beautiful finish.
Finally, the Quinta da Lapa Cabernet Reserva 2012 with complex aromas of wild fruits, plants of the hill, some vegetal notes and spices with much elegance. In the mouth appear very ripe black fruits, an excellent acidity, well tamed tannins. Very complex and intense.
The Quinta da Lapa Reserva 2011, perhaps the most complex of all, has very ripe fruit aromas, spices and tobacco and chocolate notes. In the mouth it is very harmonious, persistent, silky, with a long finish, a wine full of finesse.
Then came the two special wines of this Ribatejo house. The Quinta da Lapa Nana Reserva 2011 is the producer’s heartfelt tribute to her mother. It comes with plenty of fruit, some spicy notes, very fresh. The palate is very elegant, persistent, velvety, with red fruit and some floral fragrances and a long and steady end.
Finally, the Quinta da Lapa Reserva 2013 Homenagem 500 anos Santa Teresa d’Ávila – a celebratory wine full of fruit and spices on the nose, very elegant and haughty. Intense and balanced in the mouth, simple but authoritarian at the same time. A special wine, in honor of Teresa de Ahumada, whose poem of faith is immortalized in an existing headstone at Quinta da Lapa:
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away,
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.“
From Ribatejo, with love…
Agrovia, Sociedade Agro-Pecuária, SA
Quinta da Lapa
2065 – 360 Manique do Intendente
Tel: (+351) 263 486 214
Mobile: (+351) 917 584 256