Let the adventure begin!

Quinta do Pessegueiro – Douro in search of Excellency

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Text Olga Cardoso | Translation Teresa Calisto

I was very eager to meet Quinta do Pessegueiro. I had read some notes on the subject and had even tasted two eldest vintages in a specialty fair. But to visit the Estate and get a real feel of the project would certainly be something else. And it really was. In good time did I decide to do it!

I enjoy tasting wines in loco, I like to see the work in progress in the cellars, I enjoy looking at the vines and especially I like to talk to those who vinify and produce the wines that later arrive at our glass. A wine isn’t just some liquid enclosed in a bottle. It is the result of dreams, efforts and stories that are important to know.

Quinta do Pessegueiro is the result of Frenchman and owner of a leading group of children’s clothes, Roger Zannier’s great passion for wines, Douro wines in particular.

The project began in 1991, when the first land of an estate that is today made up of three farms, was acquired. All of them are located in the Douro wine region.

Family is one of Roger Zannier’s deepest entrenched values. For that reason he entrusted the General Management of Quinta do Pessegueiro to Marc Monrose, his son in law. Connoisseur, focused and energetic, Monrose is the perfect embodiment of the mission and vision professed to leverage and manage the whole business.

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Cellar © Blend All About Wine, Lda

The enological direction was given to João Nicolau de Almeida Júnior. Descendant of emblematic names of the Portuguese and Douro’s enology (grandson of Fernando Nicolau de Almeida – creator of the mythical Barca Velha – and son of João Nicolau de Almeida Senior – the great “Master”of the well-known brand Ramos Pinto), João is not only the holder of high education in this field, but also carries in his veins all the necessary DNA to make and interpret great wine!

To that effect he has a sophisticated and modern cellar, designed in a way to use the natural gravity throughout the whole process of transforming the grape into wine. Nevertheless, none of this removes the responsibility that João carries on his back and that up to this point he has managed to conduct with notable quality and acknowledged professionalism.

There are two wine categories produced by Quinta do Pessegueiro: Douro and Port. Red and White Douro in the first case; Single Quinta Vintage and Dry White in the other one. Besides Quinta do Pessegueiro, Roger Zannier also holds the Château Saint Maur, in AOC Côtes de Provence, France.

As a result of such and exciting visit, here is a small personal appreciation of each of the wines tasted.

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Aluzé & Quinta do Pessegueiro | © Blend All About Wine, Lda

ALUZÉ BRANCO 2012, Douro
The name comes from the expression in Portuguese “The Light is”. I wouldn’t say it is, but it was! And was very well…
Produced from old vineyards, mainly Cercial and Gouveio, this white is fresh and seductive. Marked by citrus and white fruits aromas, the main tonic is in its cleanness and minerality. The mouth reveals a medium structure, sustained by a good acidity and an elegant finish with some persistence. A white to take into consideration!

ALUZÉ TINTO 2010, Douro
An entry series wine for this producer, it is the result of a blend of Touriga Nacional (35%), Touriga Franca (30%), Tinta Roriz (15%) grape varieties and Old Vineyards (20%). Revealing the strong presence of forest fruits, complemented by spices such as black pepper and cloves, this Douro red is voluptuous and intense, with a medium body and a focused and precise ending. It was vinified in oak and stainless steel vats and aged for 12 months in big rafters, giving it an even softer and integrated oaken feel. An inviting wine with an excellent gastronomic aptitude.

ALUZÉ TINTO 2011, Douro
The result of a year of exception in Douro, this red, made in the same way and using the same grape varieties as its predecessor, reveals itself however more intense and concentrated. With black and forest fruits making a strong presence, such as plums, blackberries and cassis, it divulges a spicy character that, besides the classic black pepper, also presents certain nutmeg notes. In the mouth it is fresh and more structured, with tannins still very present. Slight smoke and toast sensations are well integrated in a way to not overpower the fruit. Everything is well combined, balanced and harmonious.

A dark purple color red wine with a very fresh and mineral beat. However none of that overpowered its fruity and minty character, with the predominance of red fruits. The feel of wet grass and cistus are noteworthy. In the mouth one can confirm the presence of fruit and its undeniable minerality. Fresh, with remarkable acidity and very thin tannins. The oak sensations are present but very well integrated and this justifies and encourages its vinification in oak casks and rafters, aging for 18 months in French and Austrian oak barrels. Focused and persistent, it reveals a special aptitude to be harmonized with game dishes.

Holding on to its mineral and fresh character, this red is even more concentrated and with stronger aromas than as its predecessor. Fruity and with minty notes, it is still young and so requires some waiting time. Its tannins and good acidity allow us to foresee a promising future. The oak sensations, although present, do not take precedence over everything else but give it structure and allow the whole set to have a well-rounded finish. It is persistent and puts a smile on our lips. A 2011 Douro red that does justice to its breed!
The price-quality-ratio of all this wines is remarkable and noteworthy. (ALUZÉ Red and White: € 11) and (QUINTA DO PESSEGUEIRO: € 22).

QUINTA DO PESSEGUEIRO – A project to keep track of!

5130-114 Ervedosa do Douro / Portugal
Tel: (+351) 254 422 081
Fax: (+351) 254 422 078
E-mail :  quintapessegueiro@zannier.com
Site: www.quintadopessegueiro.com

About Olga Cardoso

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