The Quinta do Tedo property, which I last visited during the Harvest Tour of 2005, is situated with 14 hectares on the South side of the Douro, adjacent to the Tedo River. The production facility was built in 1957, by the same construction team that built the Pinhao Bridge. There was a large renovation project that took place in 1997, in which the six lagares were brought into the modern age so that fermentations could be controlled within. Each of the stone lagares has cold water piping running just below the flooring and normally runs at 6-7 degrees C. These particular lagares are of two sizes and hold about 7 or 11 pipes each (a pipe = 550 liters) with a total capacity of 54 pipes.
Vincent and Kay Bouchard (Vincent from the famed Burgundy family) are the owners of this single Quinta endeavor. Tedo’s production is 100% foot trodden in lagar, the vines average over 30 years old. They have invested their time and money to renovate this historic property that dates back about 250 years. Tedo has been making VP since 1995 and also has a lineup of LBVs dating back to 1994. I did not discover Tedo’s Ports until early in 2003.
I enjoyed seeing some of the old, braided wild chestnut “cestas” (baskets) that are filled with grapes from the vineyards and taken to be processed. These particular cestas are of two sizes and the smaller ones hold up to 22 kilos, while the larger ones hold approximately 40 kilos of grapes and weigh an additional 8 kilos (nearly 110 pounds in total, for those that don’t speak metrics). The men carrying the grapes, oftentimes down very steep dirt paths, must be very sure footed and have incredible endurance to do this everyday during the harvest.
Five very low yielding parcels on the property produce between 27 and 30 hectoliters per hectare of handpicked grapes and the depth and concentration of fruit is apparent in the Tedo wines. There is no inoculation that takes place with the Port production, as only natural yeasts are utilized. In fact, Bouchard and Alves believe in using environmentally sound, products and practices in the vineyards and they are amongst the early birds in the Douro to approach vineyard management in this way.
Fermentations can be very speedy with as little as two to three days. This is very different than table wines where the fermentations usually last for weeks or even months. The lower the ripeness and residual sugar of the grapes, the faster the fermentation. In a hot growing season in the Douro like 2003, where the grapes are concentrated and sugars run high, the fermentations can take up to six or seven days.
I very much enjoyed what they were doing two and a half years ago and am very much looking forward to our return this year. Vincent and Kay Bouchard (yes, that Burgundian name rings a bell for a reason) have interests in Napa Valley as well as the Douro.
Quinta do Tedo At-A-Glance
Website: Quinta do Tedo
Address: Quinta do Tedo, 5110 Vila Seca, Portugal
Phone: 351 254-789-543
Owners: Vincent and Kay Bouchard
Quinta do Tedo Vintage Port 2003 – Vincent and Kay Bouchard started up this venture and are making some very nice Ports, which I first discovered just two years ago. Dark cherry and chocolate sing on the nose here. This Tedo is a medium weight, finely tuned Port with Kirsch flavors and a long chocolaty finish. Extra credit was given for the smooth, succulent and complex aftertaste that stood up to the vibrant tannins. 93 points
Kay Bouchard has generously shared four recipes with us:
Almond Tart ~Toucinho do Ceu
2 c almonds, toasted and ground
2 c sugar
2/3 c water
8 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 T butter
1 t cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon peel
½ t almond extract
Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat and boil for several minutes. Add almonds and cook 5 minutes until transparent, transfer to bowl to cool. Beat egg yolks until frothy (3 minutes), add lemon peel, cinnamon and almond extract. Add cooled almond mixture and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in buttered pan at 325 for 30 minutes or until barely done.
This is a version of a famous Portuguese dessert translated literally “Bacon from Heaven” for being delicious, indulgent and irresistible.
Recommended wines: Quinta do Tedo LBV, Quinta do Tedo Tawny
Blue Cheese Toasts with Figs
Crusty baguette of bread, sliced on diagonal ½” thick in 12 slices
¼ c Quinta do Tedo olive oil
¼ lb Blue, gorgonzola or similar cheese
6 to 8 halved figs
Toast bread, line up on cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and arrange a layer of cheese on top, to completely cover each slice. Top with fig half and heat in hot oven, grilling figs at end with the broiler.
Recommended wines: Quinta do Tedo Ruby, Quinta do Tedo Finest Reserve
Brandade-Stuffed Gougeres with Romesco Sauce
½ kg desalted cod
2 bay leaves
½ c olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 T cream
salt and pepper to taste
Simmer cod in water with bay leaves until starts to flake. Drain and cool and remove skin, bones and bay leaves. Puree in food processor, adding olive oil slowly. Taste and add cream, adjust flavors with lemon, salt and freshly cracked pepper.
½ c water
¼ c butter
¼ c grated Swiss or parmesan cheese
salt, pepper and nutmeg
Heat water to boil with 2 tsp salt and butter over medium heat, reduce to low, and add flour all at once. Stir for 1 minute with wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from pan’s sides. Transfer to a bowl, stir to cool, and add cheese and eggs, one at a time. Stir until glossy and let cool for an hour. Drop batter on cookie sheet in spoonfuls, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle grated cheese on top, bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until doubled in size and golden brown.
½ c roasted hazelnuts
¼ c roasted almonds
1 roasted and peeled red pepper
1 roasted tomato
¼ c olive oil
1 clove garlic
½ c cubed day old bread
salt, pepper and powdered cayenne pepper
Sauté bread cubes in olive oil with powdered cayenne, cool and puree in food processor with red pepper, tomato, hazelnuts, almonds, bread cubes and garlic. Adjust flavor with vinegar, salt and pepper.
Presentation: Cut warm gougere in half, fill ½ with warm brandade, encircle with romesco sauce, place other ½ gougere on side, heat in oven and garnish with a dusting of chopped parsley.
Recommended wines: Quinta do Tedo LBV 2000, Quinta do Tedo Tawny
Marinated Pork Roast Stuffed with Prunes and Apricots
3 lb. pork roast, butterflied and shaped in a long rectangle
1 C. dry white wine
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
16 pitted prunes- 8 whole, 8 quartered
16 apricots- 8 whole, 8 quartered
2 T flour
1 ½ C. chicken broth
1 T Dijon mustard
Marinate pork in white wine, garlic, for 2 hours or overnight. Remove pork, wipe off garlic and reserve ½ c of wine marinade. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt, arrange whole prunes and apricots on top, and roll up roast, tying with string. Roast at 450F for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 and roast for about 30 minutes or until meat is 150F . Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Wisk flour into pan juices, slowly add reserved marinade. Add mustard and remaining prunes and apricots, adjust seasoning, and simmer for several minutes. Add any remaining juices from roast to sauce and serve.
Excellent with a carrot flan and parmesan sauce.
Recommended wines: Quinta do Tedo Vintage, Quinta do Tedo Vintage Savedra