If my memory serves me correct I flew to Porto from Toronto in November 2014 on my very first European media tour. I was travelling with B a writer freelancing for a major Canadian newspaper. From the airport we were picked by our driver Mr. Antonio and guide L from the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto and off to the Douro to Quinta do Bom Retiro a Ramos Pinto estate. Never having been on such a trip I wondered what I was doing in Portugal! I suppose I had to fly by the seat of my pants for 5 jam packed days of predominately Port tastings. Now that I had perhaps 3 glasses of Port in my life you may say the stress and uncertainty was high. I wrote 12 articles on that trip. A winery shows me hospitality it is my obligation to repay it.
Our first stop if I recall was Quinta do Bom Retiro. Quinta is Portuguese for farm but most of the Quintas I have visited are more akin to a Chateau. The road to the Quinta off the main road was narrow and a mistake would send you plunging to your death. I recall there was a large group welcoming two Canadian journalists. We had a splendid dinner and Ports and table wines were awaiting us. I did my best to avoid my exhausted head from plopping into the fine cut of ox on my plate and at 9 p.m. I begged off and had a tremendous sleep as becomes one who hasn’t slept in countless hours.
Bottom line is that I have a soft spot in my heart for Ramos Pinto! So I see a Ramos Pinto wine “Duas Quintas” a happy light went on in my brain of days past.
The nose is crammed with a solid arsenal of black fruit particularly black cherry and blackberry. One immediately gets the impression this is a wine that takes no prisoners. Tannins are moderate and broad based. There is a bit of a chalky overtone with a bit of hot spice lingering in its finish. Again a cascade of black fruit. A strong willed and impetuous wine that is neither elegant or delicate but it is no monster. It certainly would suit a nice, rare slab of ox or Euro beef. A classic Douro wine that could use until 2024 to be a real cutie and ready to wink at you!
A blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca.
(Duas Quintas 2018 Ramos Pinto, Vinho Tinto, DOC Douro, Ramos Pinto, Villa Nova de Gaia, Portugal, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 359893, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine Rating 91/100).