Quinta do Passadouro: 2005 Reserva & first taste, a couple of 2008 new releases

Last night I presented a tasting of Portuguese wines for the Caistor branch of Yorkshire Sommeliers.  Our final wine and favourite red of the night, Quinta do Passadouro Reserva Tinto 2005, is maturing beautifully.  Below you’ll find my tasting note for it together with notes on Passadouro’s latest 2008 red releases (pictured):

Quinta do Passadouro Passa 2008

The entry level Passadouro, a blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, may comprise the fruit of  younger vines, but it gets the kid gloves treatment a.k.a. foot treading like its older siblings.  Vivid in hue and on the nose, it shows violets and minerals joined on the palate by succulent black cherry fruit (which no doubt explains the label!)  Very 2008, it sports a juicy, mineral, fresh and persistent finish.  A super-classy entry level red drinking well now and with 5 years plus in the tank.  13.5% abv

Quinta do Passadouro Tinto 2008

A step up in gear, this includes 20% mixed old vine estate fruit together with younger block planted fruit (30% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz and 25% Tinta Franca).  It shows sweet oak on the nose and a denser, tighter palate with crushed dark  berry and cherry fruit supported by a firm backbone of sinewy tannins.  A tight knit finish with salt lick minerality and savoury, toasty oak implies this one is best kept a few years and will last a decade plus.

Quinta do Passadouro Reserva Tinto 2005

The top wine features 80% mixed old vine fruit with 15% Touriga Nacional and 5% Tinta Franca.  It’s classic 2005 in its balance.  Showing a lovely intensity – glow  – of wild and brambly fruits of the forest with hints of gum cistus and good depth and layer of salt lick/schistous minerality on nose and palate. Fine grained tannins make for a long,  persistent finish.  Very good and for several plus years yet.

Click here for a report of a visit to the quinta with winemaker Jorge Serôdio Borges in 2009.

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