At last! The ratings from the American wine magazine Wine Spectator (30 November 2011 issue) have been released. Wine Spectator has compiled a list of the world’s most exciting one hundred wines from outstanding producers, the best vintages and most dynamic wine-growing regions since 1988. For the Portuguese Douro Boys group, this year has brought a truly amazing result, with no less than three wineries making it into the Top 100 Wines list: Quinta do Vallado, Quinta do Crasto and Quinta do Vale Meão. The Douro Boys have shown, and once again proven, that they are pioneers in quality and the ambassadors for wine from Portugal throughout the world. This success is not just an acknowledgement for the Douro Boys, but for the entire Portuguese wine industry.

Ranking and ratings in detail:
Rank 7 - Quinta do Vallado, Touriga Nacional 2008, 95 Points
Rank 62 - Quinta do Crasto, Douro Reserva, Old Vines 2008, 93 Points
Rank 64 - Quinta do Vale Meão 2008, 95 Points

To put the Douro on the Map:

The Douro Boys group was founded in 2003, and was formed by five highly respected wine producers of white, red and port wines from the Douro Valley. They are committed to quality and to increasing the awareness of Portuguese wines throughout the world. The five families include Roquette from Quinta do Crasto, Olazabal from Quinta do Vale Meão, van Zeller from Quinta do Vale D. Maria, Niepoort from Quinta do Nápoles and Ferreira from Quinta do Vallado, and it was the first group to actively promote Portuguese wines across the world. They travel continuously throughout all five continents, from Asia to South America, to present and promote the outstanding potential of the Douro Valley to wine connoisseurs and consumers.

Peerless Success Story:

The Douro Boys were also pioneers in regaining respect and prestige for wine from Portugal, without needing to pull off any clichés or cultivate modern, imported grape varieties. This success has been two-fold; on the one hand, it has revived its image, but the export figures speak for themselves as well. Over the past eight years, the Douro Boys’ export has grown by 500 % by volume and a noteworthy 700 % by value. Their commitment to each other, coupled with their relentless passion and enthusiasm for their work and the unique terroir of the Douro Valley, is the basis for their success. There shall be a great deal more to expect in future years and decades, as the Douro Boys still have a lot to do!

On the road again ...

The Douro Boys spent a great deal of time travelling this year:

Once again, the infamous, refreshing and slightly “adapted” Pool Party was held during Vinexpo in Bordeaux this year. Guests from all over the world loosened their ties and swapped their business shoes for flip-flops, taking it easy by the pool with a glass of Portuguese wine. The successful Master Class tastings in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil were another highlight. The Douro Boys made a great impression and there was a genuine enthusiasm for their outstanding dry wines and Port. During November, a select group of young, ambitious Sommeliers from leading British restaurants and hotels visited the Douro Valley to find out more about these exciting and regionally-distinct wines. For 2012, they already have highly interesting tastings planned in London, New York, Brazil and the Far East (Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing and Shanghai).

For more information on the Douro Boys:

Photo credit: Michel Vaerewijck