Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Reserva 2011
Blend: Touriga Nacional 50%, Touriga Franca 40%, Tinta da Barca 10%
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2011 Duas Quintas Reserva is revisited this issue for a checkup after several years. This is aging well—at least for the moment—but it was certainly a shock to the palate after tasting the livelier, fresher and fruitier 2017. Muscular and concentrated, and certainly from a warm vintage that produced very ripe fruit, sometimes to a fault, this shows darker fruits and baked strawberries. Yet, as it airs out, it's hard to resist its layered complexity, vibrant demeanor and impressive concentration. It is not the most typical Reserva, but it is an impressive one if you like this warmer style. If you say it's too jammy, I won't say you're wrong, but it has many other virtues. It has also developed some nuance as it ages.
Aware that the quality of its wines were confined to the earth of the wine producing Douro, Casa Ramos Pinto meticulously studied this Demarcated Region, and eventually became the owners of a number of estates with very special characteristics. The objective was to ensure the control and quality of the whole production process. By perfecting its wines, Ramos Pinto created unique nectars with its own signature.
In 1990, Casa Ramos Pinto became part of the Roederer Group, whose history has identical characteristics. The qualities that gave fame to Casa Ramos Pinto now took on an international dimension.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.
The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.