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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boston Wine Expo: Quinta Dona Matilde Port

Each year at the Boston Wine Expo, besides seeking out Portuguese still wines, I also look for Ports that are new to me. This year, in the Vintners' Reserve Lounge, the Winresources USA table showcased two Ports from a small, family estate. I hadn't tasted Ports from this producer before so it was good to have the opportunity to check them out.

Once known as Quinta do Enxodreiro and founded in 1875, the Quinta Dona Matilde is a family-owned estate located on the banks of the Douro River. In 1927, the estate was purchased by Manuel Moreira de Barros, who founded the Barros Wine Group. It was he who changed the name of the estate to Dona Matilde, in honor of his wife. About ten years ago, the estate was sold but soon thereafter, Manuel Angelo Barros, the grandson of Manuel and Matilde, bought the estate back and now works it with his sons, Filipe and Nuno. The estate covers about 93 hectares, including 28 hectares of quality vineyards, and they produce both still wines and Port.

The 2008 Quinta Dona Matilde Colheita Porto ($37.99), made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela, and Tinta Barroca, was created to be a fresh, easy drinking Port. Usually, these Colheitas are released after 10-12 years but this is an exception. With a pleasant nose of jammy fruit and spice, I found this Port to be elegant and approachable, with prominent bright fruit flavors, mild spice notes, and a little toastiness. The tannins are mild, it isn't overly sweet, and has a fairly lengthy finish. With this Port, they have accomplished their goal and it would be perfect for a chilly evening, accompanied by a hunk of pungent Blue Cheese.

The 2011 Quinta Dona Matilde Vintage Porto ($54.99) is from a vintage which was universally declared and has received major raves. Made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Rufete, this wine spent the first 2 years in large oak barrels and the rest in the bottle.  With a deep and alluring aroma, this is an intense Port, muscular and powerful yet still restrained and elegant. It is full bodied, with strong tannins, deep red and black fruit flavors, and moderate spice notes. It possesses a lingering and pleasing finish. Though I think it would benefit from additional aging, it still is fairly approachable for a young vintage Port. With time, it should become a superb Port.

Did you enjoy any Ports at the Boston Wine Expo?

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