One of the top icon wines of Portugal, a complexity & true wine of place and site!
- One of my all-time favorite wines and vineyards
- Classic Douro Valley terroir
- Field blend of 30+ grapes
- Vines are 86 years old
- Steep schist hard rock terraces
- 22 months in only 30% new French oak
- Reminds me of a hypothetical Portuguese cross of Cornas and Cote-Rotie in style
- One of the top wines in all of Portugal!
95+ points Wine Advocate
The 2017 Pintas is a field blend from old vines (not quite 90 years) aged for 20 months in 30% new French oak. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This seemed surprisingly accessible and elegant for this vintage when I first saw it as a tank sample in Porto last June. It was, however, a bit reticent. I expected more. It is now showing exactly that. I'm still not convinced it is quite as great as the winery thinks, but it is awfully fine. It has an extra layer of depth over the 2016, a little more power and even more concentration of fruit—in that subtle and elegant style the winery has; it's never jammy. It is still remarkably unevolved and in need of some time to show the finesse and harmony it will one day have, but it is surprisingly approachable. When this rounds into something more like peak form in the late 2020s, I suspect many unfamiliar to Portugal will pick up a glass and think it is something far more famous. Some six hours later (re-corked, not decanted), it was arguably better. At the moment, this still is not quite all the way there. If it is all about potential, it has a lot of it.
This small producer, owned by co-winemakers (and husband and wife) Sandra Tavares and Jorges Borges is one of Douro's most consistently excellent producers these days. From the increasingly refined table wines to the monumental 2017 Port I reviewed in July's interim issue, they are firing on all burners. The Manoella terroir came to them a little later that their more familiar Pintas brand. There is a significant difference in styles. Manoella is more about finesse and what many would call minerality. Pintas, relatively, tends to be fruitier and bigger. They are both very well crafted, of course—executing their styles very well.