Quinta da Lapa

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New wines direct from Portugal. Scores better than Ronaldo at the Euros!

Earlier on this year I was delighted to be invited to Lisbon to taste ‘The best of Portugal'. These were wine makers that had won regional awards for their wines and were looking for more exposure to the UK market.

Quinta da Lapa Nana ReservaThe day commenced at 08.45 with an introduction from the Chairman of Chamber of Trade for Portugal. We were then allotted 30 mins per producer throughout the day except breaks. At the end of your 30 mins of tasting and talking you were ushered on to the next table to taste and meet. Up to 15 wines were tasted at each sitting, this went on until 5.00pm (and you thought our job was easy)!

I found a certain similarity in tasting the red wines. Regionally they have their ups and Quinta da Lapa Selection Blancodowns but generically they stay true to type - lots of fruit, quality production and well integrated oak. The white wines however, were very different from table to table, from the crisp electric wines from the North's Vinho Verdi to the super fruit flavours of the Alvarinho and the rich and spicy Arinto.

However, the highlight of my day was meeting Sylvia Costa and her husband Andrea and tasting their wines from the Tejo Region – Quinta da Lapa. These red wines stood out head and shoulders above the rest. The extraction of fruit is immense and the integration of new and used oaks is fabulous. The softness of the tannins is due to the ripeness of the grapes at harvest - this comes through like charging Rhino, picks you up, leaves you suspended in euphoria with one question in your head of ‘how?' How can you get so much ripe fruit and soft tannins from a wine of two years old?

I started with their entry level wines Selection Red and White. They are complete eQuinta da Lapa Reserva Magnumxpressions of good winemaking, totally acceptable for any dinner table and then they get better. ‘Nana Reserva' a wine made with the influence of her Mother and gold medal winner this year. Up another notch to a single varietal Merlot with rich plum, blackberries and chocolate, balanced acidity and minerality or single varietal Touriga Nacional with deep concentrated berry flavours combined with minerals and hints of light oak coming through to a lingering aftertaste. Onto the Reserva (also available in boxed Magnum) - just a wow. Deep red berries, polished tannins, integrated oak and a delicious long lingering mineral finish. With a few other wines in between I haven't shipped - yet.

These wines have won so many awards and just come back from Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2016 with 3 Golds and 2 Silvers from nearly 9000 bottles.

Portuguese wines have so much to quality and finesse to offer – come and see for yourself at our summer tasting June 24th and 25th

Last Updated: 21/06/2016
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

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