Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne
Jorge Tenreiro and Cláudia Cudell own Quinta do Cume, in Provesende.
He is a vascular surgeon and she used to paint beautiful paintings. He still uses a scalpel every day, but he also discovered pruning shears and other instruments he uses to “operate” on his vines; she hardly paints any more, because she has dedicated her heart and soul to selling the wines they both love to make. They count on the expertise of their oenologist and friend Jean-Hugues Gros, a frenchman who has become more of a “douroman” than many “douromen”. Only in 1998 did Jorge Tenreiro buy lands where, along with his wife, he would build a magnificent house and start planting vines, especially of white grapes.
Until, in 2006, they started producing white wine with a little rosé.
In 2009, they also started making red wine. They bought old vines in the lower part of the village and now make reds that are already very popular.
Up top, the vines of white grapes cover up the landscape.
They mostly consist of Malvasia-Fina, with a little Rabigato and Viosinho. The more than 600 metres of altitude convey freshness and elegance; the schist-rich and poor grounds convey minerality. In the meantime, production evolved, and they began producing white Reserva wine every year; a red Selection and a red Reserva, and red Flor do Cume. The latter was only made for exporting. In the fabulous year that was 2011, they made a very special red, Grande Reserva; the only harvest until today, having produced a limited edition counting 1540 bottles and 90 magnum. Total production of Quinta do Cume currently amounts to about 40,000 bottles.
Meanwhile, they built a cellar; small yet modern, big enough to cover their orders. What wasn’t big enough was the bottling section, which created serious “traffic jams” in the cellar, and is the reason why they are now building a warehouse for finished goods, bottling and labelling. The following project will be an amazing tasting room, which will grow amid the vineyard, and will rely on this couple’s proven good taste. They once again welcomed me with simplicity, to a lunch meal as simple as it was delicious.
To open my appetite, a superb smoked salmon with droplets of lemon.
Then, alheiras (Portuguese garlic sausage) from the village, toasty and crunchy, accompanied by fried egg, boiled potatoes, and sautéed cabbage, the latter two well covered in olive oil; lastly, a side of bread from the village baked in a wood-fired oven.
For dessert, a delicious salad of peach from the quinta; no need for anything else.
We started off with Reserva white 2014, to compare with the 2013 – what a difference a year in the bottle makes. It was elegant, with scents of white fruits and mountain flowers; on the mouth, marked acidity, freshness, notes of citrus and some vanilla; all very soft and well matched. The 2014 is youthful, fruited, intense; it will be a great wine.
When we “attacked” the alheiras, we tasted Selection red 2013 and Reserva red 2012. Selection is a modern wine, showing a broad range of harmonised elements; soft, yet persistent, a lot of ripe fruit, refreshing and appetising; it’s food friendly.
The red Reserva has more intense aromas, red fruits, notes of wood, smoke and spices. At the same time, it carries freshness and very good acidity; it’s velvety, very elegant.
We then skipped to Grande Reserva 2011, a serious red, concentrated, austere, with exotic aromas. On the mouth, it shows excellent volume, notes of dark fruits, a light touch of dark chocolate, beautiful acidity and a long-lasting finish. To store for a good few years. When the peach salad arrived, we went back to the white 2013, which was kept in ice in the meantime, and it made a perfect match.
Down the hill, the village of Provesende remained peaceful…
Quinta do Cume
Tel: (+351) 91 445 7550