Quinta dos Carvalhais is a beautiful estate in the Terras de Senhorim sub-region of the Dão and is one of the region's most respected producers. Purchased in 1988 by the Guedes family, a huge amount of investment has gone into the estate, which combines the most up-to-date viticultural and winemaking techniques with age-old traditions, resulting in unique wines with great elegance and personality. In addition to investing in their own vineyards, Quinta dos Carvalhais has also been instrumental in defending the interests of local winegrowers and for pioneering the quality revolution in the Dão region. The talented Beatriz Cabral de Almeida is head winemaker and makes a very impressive range of single-varietal wines and interesting blends from the estate vineyards.
This 105-hectare property, situated at an altitude of 465-500 metres above sea level, has 50 hectares under vine. Warm days and cool nights at this altitude slow down the grape ripening process and result in wines with lovely depth yet vibrant fruit and a signature freshness. The vineyards are planted on poor granite soils with a predominance of indigenous Dão varieties including Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Encruzado. Microzoning studies have been carried out on the estate, identifying nine different soil types and a multitude of different microclimates, and each grape variety has been matched to its ideal plot. This precision viticulture provides Beatriz with a great diversity of blending options. All of the vineyards are farmed sustainably and harvesting is carried out by hand.
The 2018 vintage was marked by extreme weather that affected the vegetative cycle. October was very dry, while winter and spring were cold and rainy with an elevated risk of disease requiring more intense work in the vineyard. Summer was hot and dry which resulted in a small reduction of yield. However, the grapes that were harvested were very healthy and produced very fresh wines of great quality.
The Encruzado and Gouveio grape varieties were harvested into small 20kg boxes and vinified separately. The grapes were firstly destemmed and gently crushed. After pressing, the must was subject to static decanting. The wines were then transferred to stainless-steel tanks where yeasts native to the region were added. Fermentation took place at 18ºC for a period of around 20 days. 10% of the Encruzado was fermented and aged in used French oak barrels for six months, the rest of the Encruzado and all of the Gouveio remained in stainless-steel tanks before the final blend was assembled.
TASTING NOTESQuinta dos Carvalhais Colheita Branco 2018 is bright yellow in colour, with prominent aromas of ripe stone fruit, tropical fruit and floral hints with subtle brioche aromas from the oak. The flavours are pronounced on the palate and balanced by a crisp acidity which carries them onto the pleasantly fresh finish.
60% Encruzado 40% Gouveio (Verdelho)
|Winemaker||Beatriz Cabral de Almeida|
|Notes||Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian|