2005 Pinalta Tinto DOC, Douro Red wine (cask sample) – António Alves Ferreira (winemaker) and his grandson Hugo Guimarães (General Manager) launched Pinalta with the 2004 Tinto last year. This second release comes mainly from 20 hectares planted at Quinta da Covada, with the dominant 60% Touriga Franca again supported by 20% each Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz. I found this year’s version quite harmonious with even greater concentration of fruit and more going on in the mid-section than the 2004. An earthy quality to the aromatics, offering rose petals, a smoky leather-like note, dried prunes followed by a faint whiff of black pepper. My wife walked in and asked for a glass and thought there was a similarity to Priorat, but said, “it smells like pure Douro.” Tannic initially and laden with jammy, brambly dark fruit, this settled down a few hours later and showed a much more refined wine. Plenty of acidity and the tannins were less intrusive, leaving a full-bodied, smooth and round impression. This is cellar worthy, as the tasty cranberry and smoky prune flavors dominated the powerful tannins, which is no easy feat and left a long and penetrating aftertaste. A solid value for a Douro wine of this caliber, still in the <$20 neighborhood. Drink 2010-2020. 90+ points 2/23/08

2003 Haak Vineyards and Winery Jacquez Santa Fe, Texas, Madeira – Made in the traditional “Estufagem” method used in Madeira, 20% abv., bottled in 2007. Made by Raymond Haak and Vicki Parker. On the label it is stated: … “should continue to live in this bottle for more than 100 years.” Dark brown-orange color with a yellow-amber rim. Warming chestnut, cedar, molasses and vanilla along with some powerful VA provide an intricate aromatic profile. Full bodied and very smooth, the palate presents a reductive and roasted nut element and citrus backdrop. There is some alcohol that protrudes but more so in the mouth and less on the nose which I found interesting. A long finish that has a medicinal/bitter edge that stole a few points. V. Sattui it is not, nonetheless I never would have expected a madeira wannabe from Texas to show this well. 82 points 2/12/08

2002 Haak Vineyards and Winery Santa Fe, Texas, Vintage Port – Crimson with a ruby edge. Fermented in stainless steel, aged in American oak, Raymond Haak makes this wine. A note of bittersweet chocolate, dates, tar, licorice and a very distinct oxidized aroma. Medium-bodied, unpleasant flavors, lots of heat and a bitter finish. I tried a second bottle to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong with the first bottle. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 66 points 2/12/08

Raymond L. Haak
Haak Vineyards & Winery
6310 Ave. T
Santa Fe, TX 77510
(409)925-1401 ext. 101

Jacquez is on the island of Madeira too. The grape is resitant to Pierce's disease. Grapes are grown in his 3 acre winery and purchased grapes from High Plains of Tx. He is 450 miles from High Plains on the Gulf Coast at 25" above sea level. 68" of rain last year in 2007 ruined his Jacquez crop.

Port production and Madeira production - 600-1000 cs. ONLY Making small quantities of Port in the future.

Raymond Haak is making Port for 39 years in Tx from Jacquez and now does Madeira from it too. In around 2003, Raymond decided to try Madeira after an Australian wine consultant made the recommendation. He built his own Estufa which hold 32 barrels of 200 liters (59 gals.). It sells extremely well, the Madeira $40 and the Port $16-17 for Vintage, aged 2 years in American oak, also from the "Black Spanish" or Jacquez. Raymond thinks his Madeira is even better.

The first VM will be bottled from the 2003 and then 2006 and 2007.

The VP was from 2002 and 2006. Will be trying a White port too with 15/16 barrels in 2006. 20 barrels in 2007. There is no fortification, a special strain of yeast and innoculating with a proprietary procedure as he is an electrical engineer by trade, working on instrumentation.