The name of this Douro estate is not only Quinta Nova, as it is commonly known, but Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo. A big name that sometimes raises some doubts among the different visitors.
Once arrived at the quinta and looking at the façade of its historic winery, which bears the date of 1764, wine tourists often ask why the quinta is called Quinta Nova when in fact it dates back to the 18th century?!
The answer is simple. Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo was born in the first half of the 18th century and is the result of the junction of two old farms. From this junction a new quinta was born and hence the name Quinta Nova.
The name Nossa Senhora do Carmo is related to the patron saint of the chapel located on the property, by the Douro River. In that, at the time, agitated and dangerous area of the river, the crew of the rabelo boats were frequent victims of shipwrecks, begging for the protection of that saint.
Thus, and following a promise from the sailors, the small chapel was built, housing a stone image of the patron saint, and renaming the property Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
In the hands of the Amorim family since 1999, this property is currently managed by the 4th generation of the family, namely Luísa Amorim. Luísa is one of those largely responsible for the increase of wine tourism in the Douro and, more recently, also in the Dão. Quinta da Taboadella will start operating in 2020 and will certainly be a breath of fresh air for the wine region.
Quinta Nova has recently joined the famous international chain Relais & Châteaux, known throughout the world for celebrating the "art de vivre", and is the only hotel project in the Douro to bear that prestigious insignia.
Its Winery House opened in 2005, becoming the first Quinta in the Douro, and in Portugal, to open a hotel dedicated to the wine theme. In this new member of Relais & Châteaux, everything is prepared to provide the comfort of a large family house that is also a wine producer.
The interior and exterior nooks and crannies, the historically built heritage, the experiences designed to detail, everything has been designed to convey the peace of a unique place, in the heart of the Douro Valley, in one of the oldest winegrowing regions in the world and the first to be regulated and demarcated, in September 1756.
Quinta Nova's offer of activities is very complete, including, among others, walks through certified circuits, boat trips and experiences in the vineyard and the winery.
Its restaurant Terraçus's is the ideal place to relax and enjoy life, enjoying the great wines produced on the estate and its delicate dishes, of a fresh, textural, and tasty gastronomy, served with naturality and attention to detail.
It has different wine tastings, in particular the Robert Parker Icon Tasting, a unique tasting which is characterized by wines with more than 94 points in the prestigious publication "Robert Parker Wine Advocate", which portrays the excellence of the iconic wines of Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
Another ex-libris of the quinta is its Wine Museum Center, the result of the collection gathered by Fernanda Ramos Amorim, current matriarch of the family. It represents the production cycle of Port Wine, with pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries inventoried by the Douro Museum Foundation and constitutes a unique collection on display in Portugal, recognized in 2018 by the Portuguese Museology Association with the award for the best "Visitable Collection".
I am a great fan of the wines produced by this estate, whose viticulture oversees by Ana Mota and winemaking by Jorge Alves, one of the nicest and most talented couples in the Douro.
Since it is impossible to talk about all the wines produced there, I will leave here my opinion about only three of them, very different from each other, but all with the common denominator - quality and differentiation!
QUINTA NOVA ROSÉ 2020
The colour is a pale pink, a shade shifting towards an intense salmon, like many of the good French rosés from Provence. It has a slightly more intense aromatic profile than its previous editions, with raspberries and currants featured prominently. Notes of fresh strawberry are also quite evident. Its tasting is a mixture of freshness with sophistication, making it one of the best national rosés. It presents a robust body, a perceptible minerality in its wet stone notes, a correct acidity, all associated with a remarkable delicacy and balance.
MIRABILIS WHITE 2019
Mirabilis is made with grapes from small century-old vineyards where Viosinho and Gouveio predominate, but also a variety of other grape varieties of very scarce production, already almost non-existent in the Douro region. With an intense citric yellow colour, this white reveals an enormous aromatic grandeur. Orange and orange blossom in the first impact, followed by more tropical notes, passing through light and elegant smoked and ending with intense notes of wet stone, revealing its enormous mineral character. Its mouth is perfect, revealing the presence of fruit of enormous quality, a body almost chewable and supported by a well-integrated wood, an acidity al dente and a long and persistent finish. I have no fear to assume that I consider MIRABILIS, one of the great Portuguese white wines!
AETERNUS RED 2019
Aeternus is a tribute to an eternal work, to a man who loved the land, his family, his work. Américo Amorim was a man with a rare and unique intuition for business, who started his professional career at the age of 18 in the family cork company and never stopped fighting for his ideals, raising the cork sector to world leadership, creating over six decades a business group with a grand status in Portugal and the World.
Originating from a small centenary vineyard, it displays great complexity, with the highest quality primary aromas standing out. Blackberries and wild berries coexist with mint and cocoa notes. Spices and cedar are also perceptible. In the mouth it is creamy, smooth-textured, with excellent freshness and great persistence. A wine of enormous balance and concentration, in a profile of great class and sophistication.
WINEnROUTE invites you to visit the majestic and impactful Douro wine region, offering several exclusive programs, which combine culture, nature, gastronomy and great wines, complemented by unique and unforgettable experiences.