Quinta da Boa-Vista

Continuing my education of the Douro Valley, Tony scheduled a one hour boat ride on the Douro river the next morning, followed by lunch at Boa-Vista, his stunning and famous sister property.

While on the boat and cruising past the many historic Quintas in the Douro Valley, Tony explained to me the story of Joseph James Forrester, ultimately anointed Barron Forrester by Ferdinand II of Portugal in 1855. In 1831, the young Forrester left England and went to Oporto at the age of 22 to join his Uncle James’ business. Over the next 15 years,  young Barron Forrester conducted a painstaking survey of the Douro river and, in 1848, he created the quintessential geological map of the river from the Spanish frontier to its mouth at Oporto. Barron Forrester also published numerous articles on the business of Port wine, and lived in what is now Quinta da Boa-Vista. He drowned at the age of 52, when the boat he was in on the Douro was swamped in one of the rapids. He is still remembered as the ‘protector of the Douro’.

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Quinta das Teceideiras

While on the cruise, we came upon Tony and Marcelo’s third Douro project – Quinta das Tecedeiras, where they have secured a 40-year lease on the property and create award winning wines and ports which Kindred Vines Import Co. and Woodberry Wine will be bringing to the US market. The includes the Flor das Tecedeiras, Quinta das Tecedeiras Reserva, and the Tecedeiras Tawny Port Reserva.  While we didn’t have time to stop, the 67-hectare estate’s terraced vineyards went all the way down to the water’s edge, and rows of olive trees dominated the remaining landscape. It was extremely picturesque and the wines, which were previously tasted with Tony at the Woodberry Wine warehouse, are fantastic.

boa-vista gate 3After our cruise, we drove to the 80-hectare estate Quinta da Boa-Vista, which Tony and Marcelo purchased in 2013. All I can say is, “WOW!” I believe that this vineyard will become the most photographed in the Douro Valley in the years ahead – it is that stunning. This historic stone terraces are reminiscent of Machu Picchu stone architecture, and were built by man and beast over hundreds of years. Here is where Barron Forrester once lived, and here is where some of the greatest wines in the Douro valley are now coming from. Indeed, Tony and Marcelo have assembled a world class team. Jean Claude Berrouet, who oversaw 44 years of winemaking at Chateau Petrus, along with winemaker Rui Cunha, saw their first vintage get the highest scores awarded from Robert Parker for Portuguese table wines: 94 points for the Boa-Vista Vinha do Oratório and 95 points for the Boa-Vista Vinha do Ujo. Less than 1000 bottles were made of each, and sadly, they are no longer available for sale – but the 2014 vintage will be available soon! It is obvious that the French-Portuguese collaboration on the wines is clearly working.

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boa-vista 3After a brief tour of the property, we were joined by some Portuguese retailers and were all fortunate to be led by Tony in a tasting of the three Boa-Vista wines – the Reserva, Vinha do Oratório, and Vinha da Ujo.

The grape varietals grown at Boa-Vista include Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Sousão, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca and Alicante Bouschet. Besides the three standard bearers we tasted, Boa-Vista will also bottle a mono-varietal wine every year.

The Boa-Vista Reserva is a full-bodied blend with nice acidity and intensity.  The wine is youthful and powerful; 5000 bottles were made. The Oratório, named for the picturesque vineyard from which it comes, is a wine of superb balance and old world charm. Coming from vines planted in the 1930s, the ripe fruit and concentrated freshness were incredible, and it would be fun to taste this wine again in 10 years. More new world in style, the Vinha da Ujo is silky and authoritarian, with great structure and power, and a long, muscular finish.

boa-vista meal 3After the tasting, we took the bottles downstairs to lunch, where the chef from Covela was there to prepare another gourmet feast. We started with a cucumber and fresh greens salad, moved on to roasted chicken with local wild rice, and ended with a lemon custard flambé. The wines continued to evolve over the luncheon, and continued to impress and generate much discussion.

 

boa-vistaWe took a glass out on the veranda to take in the beauty of the Douro River Valley, as well as the magnificent Boa-Vista terraces, and we were all awe-struck. A coffee soon followed, and we then said our goodbyes and drove back to Covela. After some time to stroll the grounds, get refreshed, and answer emails, we went to dinner at the famous Six Senses Douro Valley, an extremely good Covela Client. We had another incredibly wine and food pairing. I opted for the potted vegetables for my meal and I must say it was outstanding.

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Tony Smith, Marcelo Lima, and the Covela and Boa-Vista teams have accomplished an incredible amount in a short period of time. Their committment to quality and to being good stewards of the historic properties for which they are now caretakers is unwavering. They are terrific hosts and I am grateful to represent their wines and to call them partners and friends. I look forward to a long future together, and I know that their wines will be extremely well received in the United States.

 


Written by

Dan Glisky, CEO
Dan Glisky is the Managing Partner and CEO of Kindred Vines Import Co, and is proud to lead the Company’s strategic planning initiatives, and to oversee its implementation in the Company. Dan is also the CEO and Managing partner for Woodberry Wine, LLC, a Michigan distributor of fine wines from around the world.

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