|Written by Roy Hersh|
|Sunday, 04 September 2011 19:31|
Let’s start off with a little bit of historical perspective to gain a better understanding of how this family got started in the Port business. From the words of Oscar Quevedo Sr., “My great grandfather António Abel da Costa, from my mother's side, started producing wine between 1850-1860 in Valongo dos Azeites. There, we had vineyards and warehouses, as well as granite lagares, which allowed us to make over 100 pipas yearly, almost all Port Wine. When António Abel da Costa died, his son Raúl Gouveia Costa, born in 1889, succeeded him, and some years later, started labeling his own wine called, Quinta de Santo António. Under Raul's management, the property lived a long period of expansion, though there were two major periods of financial trouble...
From my father's side, there was always a tradition of grape growing, rather than production. With around 12 ha of vines, the grapes were usually sold directly to Taylors, as a cautious and secure business strategy. Although we do have record of a Colheita 1944 being produced by my grandfather, António Maria Quevedo."
"Why did we make a Colheita 1944? The volume of grapes produced in 1944 was unusually high. Hence, Casa Douro, which every year used to determine the quantity of Port that can be produced per hectare, decided to allow a more vigorous production than was customary. The Port produced under these unique regulations could not be sold for 5 years after harvest, in order that Casa Douro could control its stocks and ensure that not too much Port came on the market at once.
This scheme would obviously only benefit those who had more grapes than usual, and so in addition to the grapes we sold under the normal set of regulations, we also made some extra wine under the special Regime de Bloqueio.”
Oscar Quevedo Sr. continues: “It was after a politically tumultuous summer in 1975 called, the “Hot Summer” when I first produced a Port of my own. I needed to transform the grapes of my father, João Batista Quevedo and Grandfather Quevedo António Maria Quevedo, into Port that were typically harvested and sold to Taylor’s. But that year, Taylor’s did not want to buy the grapes. As we had granite lagares in our warehouses, in addition to hire extra labor that was available, I committed myself to the task of producing a bit more than 40 pipas of Port and 40 more pipas of table wine, which was later stored in toneis. Some months later, Taylor’s came back to us, interested in buying our Port and we ended up selling it all back to them. At that time, I was still working as a lawyer in Viseu.”
“At the beginning of the 1980's, my wife Beatriz, my daughter Cláudia, and I moved from Viseu to S. João da Pesqueira, where we are currently living. We bought Quinta Vale D'Agodinho in 1983, which is our main vineyard, in an ideal location between the mystic Quinta de Vargellas and one of the renowned signs of the Douro's irreverent waters, Cachão da Valeira. Cachão da Valeira gained its fame when the boat which carried Barão de Forrester and D. Antónia Ferreira sank. The former died and the latter floated to safety due to her loose skirt.”
During the early decades of the 20th century Oscar and Cláudia Quevedo’s great grandfather Raul Costa used to not only grow grapes to sell to the big shippers (such as Taylor’s, and Barros & Almeida) but also bottled Ports under their own label, Quinta da Santo António. When Raul died (December 30th 1960) the properties were divided among his 5 sons and 2 daughters and the wine production was compromised. All of Raul’s children with the exception of Oscar and Cláudia’s grandmother Josefina, decided to sell to third parties and the family’s wine business collapsed.
Oscar Sr. dreamed of running his own winery. Step by step, first buying some quintas and eventually building a winery, his dream was about to come to fruition. However, although it required hard work as a grape farmer, it was far more difficult back then, to set up a new company and obtain the rights to sell Port in bottle under one’s own label. Put simply, the regulations in place did not make it easy for growers to become Port shippers. Finally, in 1991, Oscar (Sr.) was able to restore the family’s old tradition and Quevedo was born as a brand of Port, following the passionate dedication of the previous generations. And ever since, they’ve been selling a wide range of Ports under the brand Porto Quevedo, in addition to Douro table wine using their quinta’s name, Quinta Vale d’ Agodinho. Their family is currently exporting Port and Douro wine to Spain, France, United Kingdom, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hong Kong and their newest market, the United States.
Today, Quinta Vale D'Agodinho currently encompasses 25 hectares, with 200 meters fronted on the Douro River’s bank in the Douro Superior. It is a 28 year old vineyard from which the Quevedo’s harvest grapes for their best wines.
Website URL: http://quevedoportwine.com
Address: Quinta Senhora Rosário
Phone: +351 254 484 323
Owners: The Quevedo Family
Winemaker: Claudia Quevedo
STYLE OF QUEVEDO PORTS
Cláudia Quevedo the family’s Port and table winemaker and master blender comments:
"We started producing both Port and Douro wine at the same time. At first, we began producing a very traditional style of Port. Our goal has always been to create a port that combines depth of structure with complex and enticing fragrances that can be aged gracefully. We transferred this same logic to our table wines as well. We were producing Douro wines to drink in 5 or 10 years after the harvest – wines that are very concentrated and full of mineral flavors. But while in Port our clients were very satisfied with our style, in Douro wines they were asking for younger wines, forcing us to adapt to their needs. We are now trying to obtain a gentle fruit-forward wine, so that our clients can enjoy an easy drinking wine, a few years after the vintage.”
Cláudia continues, “To create this style of Port I am following my personal taste. I love old Port, old Port that can stand the test of time. It has gone through many different stages and been in many places before it reaches our glass. It has so much to teach us when we taste it, that we should respect its knowledge. It is almost as if it possesses a unique patience that other, younger Ports lack. Old Port in general is special and wonderful and wonderful to taste after 40 years or 60 years. Regarding, their taste, I think old Ports are much more delicate than their younger counterparts. They are lingering, harmonious, well balanced, sweet smelling and fragrant, with exceptional nuances from oak that may have taken more than 40 years to reach their pinnacle. While I don't hesitate to admit that some others are wonderfully harmonious and ready to drink after just 10 years, like a well-integrated brandy, I honestly prefer old Port!”
“I probably try to aspire to Taylor's Ports. David Guimaraens is a source of inspiration, always very kind and lovely, as well as a great winemaker.”
In 2009 we sold about 7,000 cases of Port (12 bottles/cs.) and 2,500 cases of Douro wine. In a couple of years we expect to sell around the same volume of Port that we produce annually (25,000 cases of Port and 10,000 cases of Douro wine) with total stock of around one million liters. In the long term we do not want to grow much more than this. We would rather stay as a small family run winery and focus on increasing brand awareness, making special wines for a niche market.
QUEVEDO’S TEAM: CLAUDIA QUEVEDO, WINEMAKER & HER BROTHER OSCAR QUEVEDO, SALES & MARKETING MGR.
TASTING NOTES by Roy Hersh
1996 Porto Quevedo Colheita Port – Bottled in 2010, from grapes of the Quinta Vale d’Agodinho, the main vineyard at Porto Quevedo. Medium ruby color w/bricking edge. This would be a great wine to fool a friend. It looks like a vintage Port of 15-20 years of age. The nose offers secondary nuances including caramel apple, maple, toffee, and pralines. The palate delivers a medium weight wine that starts out smooth but the second and third day, it is even more voluptuous. A bit warm but not hot, the spirit remains but is not a distraction. A rather evolved profile for such a young Colheita, this would be a great entry point for those looking to learn what is the difference between Colheita and Vintage Port. It delivers lots of subtlety, is blessed with plenty of acidity and the finish is long and infused with nuts and torrefacted flavors. Yummy! As good as it is now; I’d love to see what this would be like with another 3 decades in wood. 91 points
Porto Quevedo Special Reserve Tawny Port – Garnet color with bricking on a wide rim. Intoxicating scents of red fruits, licorice, toffee and a backdrop of cocoa play gently across the nose. Medium weight and bolstered by crisp acidity and warming spirit which melds with red wild berries, almond and spicy cinnamon flavors, ending with a long crescendo. A classy entry level Tawny on its own and it would be stellar with the right pairing, like Sera de Estrela cheese. 88 points
2003 Porto Quevedo LBV Port – This was enjoyed over the course of five days. Intensely inky appearance. Fragrant aromas of rose petals, plums and prunes with a mocha and gently spirited backdrop, was more profound the 2nd and 3rd day and downright delicious on the 4th and 5th, as the initial spirit totally blew off. Gaining weight throughout, it finished as a full-bodied and rich LBV. I am not sure which I enjoy more, the aromatics or the flavor profile, as both are extremely good. There is a pure just-crushed grape element that developed and still showed lots of plum and prune flavors, along with the soft, ripe tannins that let you know this is a serious LBV. The subtle cocoa detected on the finish the first two days, finally emerged with that purity-of-grape lingering. This ’03 Quevedo LBV should hold and drink beautifully for another decade. The first bottle I evaluated was not open long enough for many of these qualities to develop. This is a more accurate read. 92 points
2008 Oscar’s Douro red wine – Pop n’ poured without any decanting. Labeled as a “Portuguese red wine from the Douro” the bottle contains the funniest back label I have ever read. It elicits a generous bouquet of strawberry-rhubarb fruit, dried herbs, earth and minerals. Initially dark-fruited and dry in style, earthy, medium-bodied and possessing refined round tannins. As it continued to evolve with time in the glass, the fruit emerged brighter and slightly riper with a noticeable black peppery nuance. This is a fun food wine, not to be taken too seriously and it offers both a fine QPR and an insanely reasonable price point. It will drink well for another half decade -- is a solid everyday red wine and you’ll immediately recognize its Douro roots. There are 2 bottlings of this wine, a leaner one for Europe and this USA version. Drink up and enjoy now through 2015. 85+ points
1968 Porto Quevedo Colheita Port - Bottled 1999. FTLOP Summer Port Tasting at the Issaquah Holiday Inn. Very dark ruby-brick color with a tawny-amber edge. An enthralling nose of tobacco, cherry, smoky and toasty notes and it seemed to me, more like an older Vintage Port than a Colheita ... which is a compliment. Red fruited with some chocolate and wood influence. Delicious and with a stellar finish, this was a sweet, pure and spicy Colheita with great length and showing a lot of class. I liked this bottle slightly better than the showing of another bottle Oscar had opened the day before, for a group of Seattle-based Sommeliers. One of my favorite Ports of the entire evening. Kudos to the Quevedo family! 95 points
2007 Porto Quevedo Vintage Port – The name Quevedo might still be new. For the rest of the Port loving world, (especially in the EU) I believe that although not yet a household name, Quevedo is certainly a name recognized by many. The 2007 Quevedo VP delivers fresh floral fragrances, Asian spice, blueberry, ripe blackberry and a fun mocha-espresso note with great intensity. This is the story of a fairly new family-owned and operated grower/producer making old-school style Vintage Port and hitting a triple in its first at bat in the big leagues. Claudia Quevedo is the very talented young wine and Portmaker behind the scenes, while her globetrotting brother, social-media-butterfly Oscar Quevedo, is the face of the winery and he’s making a big splash internationally this year. The dark flavors of cassis and blackberries are supported by laser focused acidity and wonderfully ripe, round tannins and the ultra-smooth velvet-like presence is something to behold. This is a power packed Port and exhibits a well-nuanced middle and a great long finish that leaves a lasting impression. The 2007 Quevedo marks a line in the sand, to say “we’ve arrived” and can make as good a Port as anybody. Drink now through 2040. A great effort by the new kids on the block. 94 points
2008 Porto Quevedo’s Quinta Vale D’Agodinho Vintage Port – As the fruit comes from the Quinta’s main vineyard, Quevedo considers this their Single Quinta Vintage Port, although it actually could be called a Single Vineyard Vintage Port too. Offering an expressive nose of wild cherry and blueberry, baking spices, lavender and freshly crushed grapes. Very distinctive. Full-bodied yet it seems soft, lithe and fluid in the mouth. Claudia Quevedo deserves credit for producing a massively concentrated and smooth Port of this nature, neatly balanced and structurally near perfect with stunning levels of acidity and mouth puckering tannins. The density factor here is ratcheted up to a notch above the vast majority of the other 2008’s, with an appealing purity and silky texture. Easy-to-drink-now but cellar a case to enjoy during the next three decades. When the bottle was “revealed” I was surprised, having believed it to be Quinta do Noval. A distinctive, excellent young Vintage Port. 93+ points
|Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 19:47|