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. All of the vineyards are farmed sustainably and harvesting is carried out by hand.
The 2017 vintage began with a cool and dry winter. Some rainfall in the spring replenished water reserves in the soil and temperatures were above average. Budburst and flowering occurred without incident. The summer days were hot and dry but were balanced by cool nights, resulting in an ideal slow ripening process. The harvest started in August, 3 weeks earlier than normal, and the grapes harvested had great balance, elegance and concentration.
Touriga Nacional from three different plots on the Quinta dos Carvalhais estate was hand harvested plot by plot into 20- kilogram crates. Upon arrival at the winery it was destemmed and gently crushed into small stainless-steel tanks with automatic pumping over and temperature control. Fermentation took about eight days at an average temperature of around 27°C. The Touriga Nacional from one particular plot underwent a postfermentation maceration for a further 20 days. The wine was then aged for 12 months in a combination of used and new 225-litre French oak barrels sourced from eight different coopers, before the final blend was assembled and the wine was fined, filtered and bottled.
This wine is ruby-red in colour with intense aromas of ripe black fruit, with floral and herbal notes and a subtle spiciness from the time in barrel. Elegant and balanced, with smooth tannins providing structure. A refreshing acidity carries the complex flavours through to the long finish.
|Grape Varieties||100% Touriga Nacional
|Winemaker||Beatriz Cabral de Almeida|