Quinta de Lemos
Quinta de Lemos is the brainchild of a local textile magnet, Celso de Lemos Esteves, who decided in the 1990s to focus on high quality Dao wines. The winemaker, Hugo Chaves, is also a local boy from Viseu who attended university in Villa Real. After having worked at Lemos since 1997 he has been resident now winemaker for 10 years. That said, the winery and vineyards have a decidedly modernist French feel to them and one can envision it all fitting into Bordeaux, or even a Napa Valley landscape, effortlessly. The wines have a modern ‘internationalist’ gloss about them as well.
The handsome, ultra modern, glass, wood and concrete winery was designed by a French architect and sits in sharp contrast to most Dao quintas. Current production, all gravity fed, runs around 100.000 bottles. The 23 hectare vineyard is sited on one of warmest spots in Dao at Silgequesas,450 metres above sea level and 300 metres from the Dao river. Plantings follow Dao’s traditional blend with 60% in Touiriga, 20% in Roriz, and 10% in both Alfrocheiro and Jaen. Vine density is 6000 per hectare.
All the wines share a similar condensed, finely focused restraint. All are 100% barrel aged, mostly around 15 months, showing an adept use of new oak that is generally supportive and rarely intrusive. And while the highly polished house style dominates varietal character to an extent, at the same time it equalizes the ability to view individual varietal expression. My only criticism would be a tendency toward high alcohol across the board, with spirits sometimes dominating aromatic expression and textures. Perhaps further vine age will help resolve this issue.
Their portfolio includes nicely contrasted single varietals and two reserve cuvees: Dona Santana which follows a more traditional four grape Dao blend and Dona Georgina, primarily Touriga with a touch of Roriz.
View Quinta de Lemos wine notes here.
Vines amidst olives
New and old vats
old bottles in the cellar