Tuesday morning came way too quickly for a majority of the group and after a memorable first day, it was time to finish breakfast and head out for our first appointment.
I told our guests that in the first two days we had only consumed 50 Ports and Douro wines. I offered them some simple advice to help build up their endurance for the days and nights to come. “Drink more water and don’t be afraid to spit,” I explained. Although today promised to be slightly more arduous, I could tell that they were anxious to get going, as they knew what we had in store.
With that in mind, we headed off to Vila Nova de Gaia, where many Port shippers’ headquarters are located. Gaia is a short distance just across the Douro River (from Oporto) and it’s the ancient city where the larger Port companies maintain their centuries old Lodges, which contain enormous stocks of old and new Ports in bottle, as well as the Lodge “pipes” and massive wooden vats that store tens of thousands of liters apiece. The adventure was about to begin!
Finding the Niepoort Lodge can be a challenge for the uninitiated, as there is no sign posted that lets you know you’ve arrived. Having been there on a number of occasions I knew exactly where to go, but our taxi driver had no clue and he certainly was not going to listen to some American tourist. So instead, he stopped a few times to ask directions from other cabbies, which did not seem to help him much. With hand gestures and my best use of “broken” Portuguese, (broken = a kind euphemism for my debauchery of the language) I tried explaining where to go. Frustrated having not seen a sign for Niepoort’s Lodge, the driver finally acquiesced and I was able to easily guide him to “the green door.” If you do not instinctively know the location of this famed entryway, nor the secret knock, it is possible to repeatedly pass right by it, or stand outside on the narrow cobblestone street for an eternity.
Fortunately, we rang the doorbell a few times and with a creaky sound that would make for a fine description in a Charles Dickens novel, we were led into the most unique Lodge in all of Gaia. It was obvious that our gang was parched and although breakfast had not yet settled in, they were chomping at the bit to try some venerable old Port. There was no rush, as the cellar here was not to be missed and Dirk’s sister, Verena Niepoort showed us around. Everywhere you look, there are large (approximately 7-11 liter) hand-blown glass demijons that date back well over 200 years. Garrafeira Port is produced in these priceless vessels. For pictures of the demijons and a description of Garrafeira and Colheita styles of Port, please have a look at one of my earlier reports on The Colheita, Garrafeira and Vintage Ports of Niepoort
This was my first visit to Niepoort where the maestro himself, Dirk van der Niepoort was not presiding over the discussions and tasting. But it was harvest time and Dirk was up river ensuring that the grapes that were being picked and brought to his Quintas for processing, had reached full physiological ripeness and the requisite level of sweetness, measured in Baume. With Verena, our group was in very capable hands, and along with Niepoort’s General Manager José Teles and young Jose Nogueira, (the 5th generation of Nogueiras to work with the Niepoort family as “master blenders” of Port) we were made to feel right at home.
The focus is changing at Niepoort, a niche player and innovative producer of both Port and Douro wines. This small, family owned and operated Port firm has achieved a very prominent and independent place in the Port trade; in an industry which has recently undergone waves of consolidation. Over the past six years, about a dozen well-known Port shippers were brought into the fold of ever larger and more powerful entities. Remaining independent today is not an easy feat as the industry is dominated by a handful of family owned companies and significant corporations. One way to diversify is to produce table wine which stem from Port grapes grown in the upper Douro Valley. Niepoort has become the industry leader in this regard, producing many of the best Douro wines on the market. To bring his vision to fruition, Dirk has commenced his groundbreaking for a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, to eventually produce his top Douro red and white wines at Quinta de Nápoles.
To see where Niepoort is heading in their 165th year of operation, one needs only look at the balance between Dirk’s production of Port and Douro table wines. For example in 2005, Niepoort produced 75% Port and 25% Douro wines. In 2006, there was a significant shift, and the percentage for both types is now at 50%. Looking to the future, which Dirk has been doing for years, he realizes that the marketplace for Port has not been growing anywhere near as rapidly as what is happening with the red and white wines of the Douro. Although I love drinking his Charme, Batuta, Vertente and Redoma reds along with his exciting lineup of whites like Tiara, Projectos and Redoma Branco including a wonderful Reserve … it is my hope that Niepoort will continue to focus on making some of the greatest Ports, vintage after vintage.
I can only scratch my head and wonder how he is able to produce such an amazingly diversified portfolio of wine and Port at such a consistently high level, travel around the world showing his wine and balance his family life (with his lovely wife and three children). It is certainly an impressive juggling act!
At 42, Dirk is never satisfied with the status quo and who else would even consider planting grapes like Riesling and Pinot Noir, in the Douro of all places? But to prove that Niepoort has not lost his sense of humor, Verena showed us the 2004 lineup of reasonably priced red wines that will receive a different lighthearted label, (which resembles the Niepoort business cards) for each country it is marketed in. Finland gets Sarvet which means “horns” and you need to see the label to understand the comic undertones. For Norway there is Faberlaktig or “Fable” … Holland has Gerstolen Fiets or “stolen bicycle” and Germany, Austria and Switzerland will receive Fabelhaft or “fabulous.”
The labels are very kitschy and this shows the lighter side of Dirk’s personality. These entry level fresh and approachable Douro red wines will only be sold in Europe and will retail for approximately 9-10 Euros.
We were able to try a magnificent lineup of Ports during this visit and admittedly, I missed the Douro wines, although I was fortunate to taste the upcoming vintage back in June. We started with some basic Ports, moved onto LBV, Tawny and Colheita Ports. Next up were the Vintage Ports with the exquisite 2003 juxtaposed against cask samples of 2004 (which will not be commercially released) and the brash 2005 which shows great promise. Then came some older treats!
To Verena and Jose T., it was truly a pleasure to see you both again and Jose Nogueira, I enjoyed our conversation and thank you for joining us. Our group had a wonderful experience and we appreciated the generosity of time you spent with us and of course, providing such a broad spectrum of Ports to sample. It was a memorable visit and the gang couldn’t stop talking about the cellar, demijons and the Ports.
Niepoort Junior Tinta Reserve Ruby Port - I am embarrassed to admit I have never tried this before on any of my visits. It is a basic wine that used to be considered a “Vintage Character” Port. Dark garnet color. The Junior is a fresh and fruity wine with seemingly no flaws. It is well-balanced, quite approachable and a spicy, plum profile. I liked it! 85 points (10-3-06)
Niepoort Senior Tawny Reserve Tawny Port – A light strawberry color, this simple Tawny spends an average of 5-6 years in wood. It shows the wood influence and is easy to sip with a tasty raspberry edge. Given its modest price range, this would be a good bottle to enjoy while sitting on the deck in the summer or even to accompany a fine cigar. 84 points (10-3-06)
2001 Niepoort LBV Port – Stylistically speaking, I enjoyed this more than the 2000 LBV, which I found too sweet. The ‘01 spent about 5 years aging. This is a vibrant LBV with juicy plum laden fruit and a smooth texture. Probably could improve for a few years too as the tannins are resolved but noticeable and along with a fine finish, the strength here is in the overall balance. 92 points (10-3-06)
Niepoort 10 Year Old Tawny Port - A light strawberry color not all that different than the Senior in its hue. That is where the comparison ends. This shows significantly more influence from the small pipes used in the aging. Jose Nogueira was sitting with us while we tasted it. Great texture and a gentle almond flavor were quite enjoyable. The finish was longer and with a better aftertaste than most other Ports in this category. 91 points (10-3-06)
1994 Niepoort Colheita Port - (bottled in 2006) - Light ruby color. It offers a spicy and hazelnut aroma. Rich and dense, I am not normally fond of younger Colheitas but this was very good indeed. Dense and fruit driven with a light body weight and showing some elegance at this early stage of development. Impressive! Pop and pour or if adventurous, lay a few down to see how they develop in bottle. 92 points (10-3-06)
2004 Niepoort Vintage Port (cask sample) - 2004 was the birth year of Dirk’s daughter Anna, yet this Port will not be commercially released as Niepoort Vintage Port, possibly in the future though as a “Niepoort Projectos” Port. Regardless, Ms. Niepoort will have some tasty wine to drink when she comes of age. It is far more approachable than any Niepoort VP that I’ve ever tasted at this early stage. With an essence of black cherries, it presents boysenberry and ripe plum flavors with moderated tannins. This youngster is nowhere near as powerful as the 2000 or 2003 from cask. It does possess a well knit structure bolstered by zippy acidity and purity of fruit. A mid-term ager that reminds me of the 1985 Niepoort when it was young, although I never had it as a cask sample. 91-93 points (10/2/06)
2003 Niepoort Vintage Port – Opaque, big, ripe and viscous. My first impression was that the tannins were much tamer in this glass then when I drank a bottle of it as a cask sample (over a few days). Full-bodied with wild blueberry and plum flavors providing a surprisingly approachable VP with overt but mostly round tannins. Structurally, this has gorgeous acidity and the potential is still to be measured in decades, not years. The finish was just phenomenal and the others at the table were blown away by this VP as most had never tried it before. 97+ points (10-3-06)
1970 Niepoort Colheita Port - This was a 1987 bottling. I can’t think of many other Port producers that would release a Colheita in the same year they declare a vintage. This dusty old bottle was opened on the spot so there was no time for letting it breathe. Amber/orange with bricking on the edge. Spicy aromas with a touch of VA and a hint of caramel added to the intricate profile. Medium bodied and sexy silky smooth, the mélange of vanilla, toffee and nutty almond was delicious and harmonious. This ’70 delivers superb balance and a voluptuous, mouthcoating sensation on the aftertaste. A tough call which I like more from 1970, this one or the VP. 94 points (10-3-06)
1995 Niepoort Colheita Port – (bottled in 2006) I found this to be less vibrant than the 1994 version we tasted a short while ago. In comparison, I find the ’95 “less” in terms of body weight, overall complexity and the length. There is a smoky and wood ingrained element here which is strikingly different. 88 points (10-3-06)
2005 Niepoort Vintage Port (cask sample) – Leave it to the Niepoort’s to allow us to try a 2005 cask sample at this stage. Fully opaque and inky, as I’d expect from a youngster with this lineage. Violets and intense lavender come to the fore. Intense and juicy with moderate acidity but powerful tannins at this stage, this is no surprise. I prefer it quite a bit over the 2004. It tastes drier than the 2004 and the tannins are far more astringent, this also shows a greater sense of structure and I believe this will be quite age worthy, yet it is still so very young. It possesses a very generous finish with a long aftertaste. 94-96 points (10-3-06)
Symington Family Estates
It is always a pleasure to visit the Symington’s at their lavish Graham’s Lodge in Gaia, as this is one of the greatest families in the Port business with their ancestors going back a mere 13 generations. In fact, the Symington’s are one of only 11 wine families in the world to have become members of the elite association known as Primum Familiae Vini, along with other highly reputed European wine families such as Pol Roger, Hugel, Drouhin, Antinori, Mouton Rothschild and a handful of others.
We toured the cavernous cellar of Graham’s which is the cornerstone of the Symington’s stable of Ports. We learned that each of the six directors, (all cousins and one uncle) must invest their own money into purchasing at least one of the Symington’s Douro properties, replete with Quinta and vineyard land. This then becomes their “home away from home” as most live in Oporto or Gaia. Actually the extended Symington family also owns land in the Douro, with a total of 16 Quintas. This strategy sustains the family heritage and a deeply rooted sense of pride in each and every property they own.
I must admit to having a special affinity for the Graham’s Lodge and the Ports as well, since it was the very first property that I visited back in May of 1994. It was during that trip that I met with James Symington and his son Rupert, who was fairly new in the trade at that point. James has since retired, as have most of the Symington men from his generation. Their sons have taken over and have continued with the family’s tradition.
Yet in some ways, they have had to adapt to the new global economy, as well as the realities of doing business within the EU configuration. Symington Family Estates is the creation of a new family image, steeped in tradition, lean and clean heading into the 21st century. Their recent achievements are many: they have been at the fore in bringing new technologies to the anachronistic Douro region, introducing the use of robotics in 1998; investing in the procurement and renovation of Quintas, vineyards and aggressive new plantings; joint ventures and partnerships with winemakers and other producers resulting in a smattering of popular Douro table wines; not to mention their far reaching marketing strategies and quite recently, the acquisition of Quinta do Bom Retiro Poqueno and another prominent Port shipper, Cockburn’s. These are but a few examples of the dynamic energy within the next generation of this esteemed Port producing family.
The impressive list of names that make up the Symington stable of Ports is akin to a football team loaded with all star players, when one considers their production and market share, as well as their overall quality:
- Quinta do Vesuvio
- Smith Woodhouse
- Gould Campbell
- Quarles Harris
- Quinta de Roriz
After our tour we visited the gift shop and the guys bought all kinds of apparel and souvenirs like kids in a candy store. Then our hosts, Paul Symington and Jackie Thurn-Valsassina, led us through a fantastic double horizontal which had been pre-arranged during my visit in June. We tasted through a fabulous lineup of 1994 Vintage Ports which were as youthful as they were delicious. But these were the bottled benchmarks against which we’d make our way, tasting and evaluating through an array of exciting pre-release 2004 Vintage Ports.
Paul provided the historical perspective, discussed growing conditions and also explained some of the dynamics surrounding the current state of the Port trade and the Symington’s mission in the marketplace. We literally had the best of both worlds: tasting through two utterly different, tasty and approachable vintages, while looking for the common thread of house style.
I could sense the enthusiasm of the group; since none of our guests had ever tasted this many pre-release bottles before. Paul and Jackie allowed us to ask many questions and we all learned a lot from both the extraordinary tasting as well as the enormous amount of information that came our way. All this while taking notes on each facet of the Ports at hand. The counterpoint between the 2004 Vintage Port and a fantastic and still youthful vintage like 1994, was striking.
Thanks to Paul & Jackie for putting on a most educational comparative vintage tasting and allowing us to linger far longer than we should have. We appreciate all of the information you provided us and the opportunity to drink some amazing Ports!
1994 Graham’s Vintage Port – It is a real treat to have this for the second time in ’06 from the Symington’s cellars, the last time was with Rupert in March. Very dark garnet color. Intriguing nose of grapey and peppery notes with a dash of mocha. Full-bodied and dense plum flavors dominate the palate and this was a standout VP but had a couple of serious rivals vying to be top dog in this horizontal setting. This is a power packed punch and needs about 3 decades before this will reach prime time. Another winner from Graham’s with a pacesetting finish. 95+ points (10-3-06)
1994 Warre Vintage Port - Medium ruby and much less extracted than the big guns in the lineup. The fruit is from the newly acquired Bom Retiro Poqueno. The focused bouquet of violets and cocoa lead to a feminine style of VP that is smooth and soft. However, the tannins rush to take over late in the game. There is a touch of alcohol on the afterburner finish, but these bottles were not decanted all that long. Nice chocolate edge on the aftertaste. Best to drink circa 2020-2025 when it should show about as well as the ’77 Warre does today. 91+ points (10-3-06)
1994 Dow Vintage Port - Deeply extracted and impenetrably dark magenta color. Immediately the sweet boysenberry and ripe plum fruit got my attention as it seemed atypical for Dow. I’m certainly not complaining as this is a fabulous modern Dow which is sumptuous and almost chewy. The balance here is the strong suit and along with the ripe tannins, this should make for old bone thirty to thirty five years down the road. 94+ points (10-3-06)
1994 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port - Vintage Port at this age rarely excites me more than this. But 1994 is THE Vesuvio that won me over upon release and ever since. Although I had bought a six pack pre-release, after trying it for the first time in 1997, I ran out and grabbed 12 more bottles and have reloaded since. This is one of the ‘94s that you can never own too much of. Brash and juicy with ripe black fruit flavors, the best descriptor for this brawny baby is “opulent.” On the finish, it almost delivers perfection. You can drink it at any point in your lifetime but don’t be afraid to enjoy a couple now, with lots of decanting time. 97+ points (10-3-06)
1994 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port - Dark ruby color. The alcohol distracted me from appreciating the floral and red fruits aromatics here. Dry in profile with smooth raspberry and blueberry fruit and quite easy to approach and enjoy due to submissive tannins. Although attractive this is not a big wine but it is really well-balanced which brought up the scorecard. Drink now through 2025. 92+ points (10-3-06)
1994 Gould Campbell Vintage Port - Purplish-ruby color. A touch grapey with some lavender and violet scents. Soft and medium-bodied, with plum and boysenberry that lead to a fine finish. I don’t detect much in the way of tannins but the acidity delivers. I’d wait another decade and then start drinking ‘em. 91 points (10-3-06)
1994 Quarles Harris Vintage Port - I just wrote down quick, mostly single word adjectives to describe this VP: floral, medium-bodied, vibrant, smooth, resolved tannins, soft, quite simple. I did note that the finish was the shortest of the flight. 89 points (10-3-06)
2004 Graham’s Malvedos Vintage Port – The Malvedos has really fleshed out since I first tried it in late June. Having received considerably more decanting time, (I believe I heard 5 hours mentioned) which also helped. This ‘04 is an inky purple monster that presented spicy and floral notes with the essence of pure blueberry. Ultra-ripe on the palate with prune and juicy blackberry flavors that come to the fore. Good depth and medium tannins show the stuffing is all there, while finishing with a long chocoholics dream of an aftertaste. 93-95+ points (10/3/06)
2004 Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port – Purplish-ruby and fully opaque. The nectar of ripe Mirabelle plum, grapes and ripe berries come to the fore and make it difficult to remove my nose from the glass. Cavadinha’s stylized, rich and full-bodied 2004 VP delivers massive … if not downright chewy dark cherry and sweet yellow plums. Wow! A well-structured, yet approachable entry leads to tannins which then attack the palate and fortunately there’s plenty of luscious fruit here to stand up to them. From my first tasting of the Symington’s 2004 cask samples, (in June) this was my clear favorite and still is. My only reservation with giving this a significantly higher score was: the finish was rather clipped and there was a dose of spirit which protruded on the aftertaste. I look forward to revisiting this classy wine, to check on its progress and long term prospects. If I had to choose only one Vintage Port to buy in 2004, this would be it. 95-97+ points (10/3/06)
2004 Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port – One of my favorites from the Symington’s stable of 2004 VPs. This dark purplish colored SQVP delivers a sexy nose and is laden with dense, ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit. The palate attack is surprisingly sweet for a Bomfim and it has more of a viscous, black fruit profile which is smooth and ultra-ripe. The tannins are prominent and showing more drying astringency than when I tried it nearly four months ago. Today it shows as a chewy, concentrated beast with a superlative layered finish. This youngster shows a solid core within which will drink best in a couple of decades or three. 93-95+ points (10/3/06)
2004 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port – Inky black with a purple edge. A tight and restrained nose withheld any pleasure, even with coaxing. However on the palate, this is far more approachable than recent versions of Vesuvio and it will be interesting to see how the ‘04 evolves in the near term. The ripe raspberry and boysenberry flavors border on being jammy and show a chocolate note on the medium length finish, which comprises a bit of heat as well. The tannins are less powerful than in either 2000 or 2003 at the same stage. I’ve tasted the Vesuvio on three separate occasions, (including a vertical of every Vesuvio vinified since the Symington’s took the helm in 1989) and although I am typically quite fond of this producer, the ’04 lacked the luster I have come to expect from this SQVP. 1,100 cases produced. 90-92 points (10-5-06)
2004 Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira Vintage Port – Like Quinta do Bomfim, this is one of the properties that provide excellent grapes for the classic Dow Vintage Port. The Symington’s sold Senhora da Ribeira three decades ago and were fortunate to be able to buy it back about 9 years ago. It is situated across from Vesuvio, practically next door to a restaurant we dined at that memorable evening! Looking at this inky monster it is hard to discern between a purple and/or black coloration, nonetheless, it is fully opaque. Lush fresh cut flowers, spice and boysenberry compote provide a scintillating nose. The fruit is tart and dry with an early-picked blackberry quality that is refined in its approach and full-bodied in the mouth with some spirit that is not yet integrated. The finish is exceptionally smooth and its round tannins are laced with chocolate, while impressive in terms of its overall length, I would drink this in its prime at around 12-18 years of age. 500 cases produced. 90-92 points (6-28-06)
Believe it or not, it was almost dinner hour, but first we had a nice little surprise up our sleeve. As we walked down the steep and narrow cobblestone street towards the Cais (waterfront) in Gaia, we led our group onto one of the Barcos Rabellos (see pic below). It was time to get a feel for the Douro River. It was only an hour cruise but after so many great Ports, the refreshing wind was just what the doctor ordered. We had a lot of laughs and got a true feel for the local landscape. It is hard to believe that the real Barcos used to transport casks of Port down river from the Quintas of the Douro Valley to Oporto & Vila Nova de Gaia. Nowadays the river is dammed and trucks to all the work. The boat dropped us off on the Oporto side of the Douro and after a quick walk along the Cais on that side; we decided to sate our appetites.
That evening we dined at Presuntisco, a quaint and small restaurant at the intersection of the Ponte Dom Luis and the Cais (major bridge between Oporto and Gaia, named after King Luis 1st).
As far as I am concerned, no trip to Oporto is complete with at least one or two meals at this fantastic eatery. Not only is it an architectural wonder but the service is impeccable and the food authentic with a mix of regulars and tourists alike. I have had Caldo Verde in a few dozen restaurants and Quintas from Lisboa to Pinhao, but none can compare to the simplicity and delicious essence which is the soup prepared by the Presuntisco chef. Normally we feast on a great preparation of baked Bacalhau but on this night we had some meat instead. There were a bunch of Douro white and red wines and some amazing after dinner. It was great to see Joaquim Granja once again, the owner of this wonderful establishment. I can’t wait to eat there in May!
Presidential Dry White Port - With six years in wood, this enjoyably fresh white hints at citrus and pear notes. A full fledged 20% alcohol is impressive in its complete and utter integration. There are some tasty caramel and nutty underpinnings and a solid core of acidity, with a key lime essence on the finish. Yum! 89 points (10-3-06)
2003 Grambeira DOC Douro White - One of the more enjoyable, actually impressive whites I have had from the Douro. Crisp and dry with mouthwatering acidity. An excellent seafood or shellfish wine pairing. The fruit was medium-bodied and with an apple vibrancy and freshness that I thoroughly enjoyed. 91+ points (10-3-06)
2003 V. Leite de Faria Gloria Tinto Colheita Seleccionada DOC Douro Red - With a mere 45 cases produced it will be difficult to find this ever again. This wine contains 40% Touriga Nacional, 50% Tinta Roriz and 10% Franca. It shows dark ruby in color with fresh floral fragrances and a touch of vanilla. Bright and supple red fruit that has charm and is a solid wine to pair with meat. Totally approachable and a good glass pour for restaurants, but also worthy of laying down in the cellar. 86 points (10-3-06)
2003 V. Leite de Faria Gloria Tinto Reserva Colheita Seleccionada DOC Douro Red - 60% Roriz and 40% Touriga Nacional. Another 45 cases produced of the Reserva. It is delicious and a far more serious wine. It shows great depth of flavors of ripe and smooth plums and smoky prunes. This will drink even better in 3-5 years. 90+ points (10-3-06)
1995 Presidential Colheita Port - This Dalva would have benefited from a few hours in the decanter. There is a citrus element to the nose along with the smell of a furniture store. Full-bodied and smoother than I’d expect from a Colheita this young, the palate delivers lip smacking caramel and praline. It’s a delightful Tawny with laser beam focus with only one flaw. Unfortunately, on the nose, palate and especially the finish, the alcohol is front and center and dominates the experience. This would be close to a mid-90 pointer had the alcohol been more integrated. It is possible that decanting would have totally cured this issue. 91+ points (10-3-06)
1952 Dalva White Colheita Port (bottled in 2006) - As I have reviewed this on several occasions in the past 18 months, let’s just keep it simple. This is a fabulous and unique white wine that is as profound as many a great Madeira of this ilk. The ’52 Dalva is an “amusement park in the mouth.” 95 points (10-3-06)
With day two of the Harvest Tour now in the history books, we headed back to the hotel for a well deserved night’s sleep. Tomorrow was going to be another fun filled day, ending our visit to Gaia and with just one more important stop in Oporto, before heading up to the Douro Valley mid-day and having three FTLOP members, (from the UK) join us for the balance of the Tour.
The full story of the 2006 Harvest Tour is broken into five articles:
2006 Harvest Tour Part One describes visits to Lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, including Vasconcellos, Kopke, Vinologia, Cálem, Sandeman and Ramos Pinto as well as dinner at the Oporto Restaurant
2006 Harvest Tour Part Two describes visits to the Niepoort Lodge and to Symington Family Estates in Gaia, and dinner at the restaurant Presuntisco.
2006 Harvest Tour Part Three describes the visits to Douro Quintas including Quinta do Crasto, Quinta de Vargellas, Quinta do Vesuvio, Quinta Vale Dona Maria, Quinta do Noval, Quinta do Portal and Quinta do Silval.
2006 Harvest Tour Part Four describes the closing dinner at the restaurant De Gusto in Porto, together with the winemakers and wines from Quinta da Brunheda.
2006 Harvest Tour Part Five consolidates the 193 tasting notes from the other four articles into one document for easy reference.