The wines of Sogevinus   
An important group of brands making table wines and Ports from Portugal's Douro

Sogevinus is the Port and table wine group owned by Spanish bank Caixanova (based in Galicia). Established in 1998, it began with the purchase of Port house Cálem, and then followed the acquisition of Burmester (2005), Kopke (2006) and Barros (2006). Sogevinus own two quintas in the Douro. Arnozelo is in the Douro Superior next to Vargellas and has 100 hectares of grade 'A' vineyards. Sao Luíz is close to Pinhão in the Cima Corgo and has 90 hectares of vines. Althogether, this is a reasonably sized operation, selling some 12.5 million bottles in 2009, with a 90:10 split between Port wine and table wine (the table wine project began here in 2002, with the first wines released in 2004).

I visited the adjacent Kopke and Cálem lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, with Francisco Gonçalves (who makes the table wines) and Pedro Sá (who makes the Ports)


Burmester White Ports

This is a new project from Burmester, and these were cask samples. The idea is to produce a 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old white Port which will be sold in a set of four 375 ml bottles. White Port is rarely taken seriously, but these were certainly serious wines. You'll see from my scores that I found them all really attractive – they show differences, as well, and which you prefer depends on your personal preference. Once the wines get to 20 years old they show lots of complexity.

Burmester 10 Years Old Tawny
Casky, nutty nose is sweet and appealing. The palate is lively, nutty and fairly complex with real intensity and a long, nutty finish. 92/100

Burmester 20 Years Old Tawny
Warm, complex, casky, nutty nose has real interest. The palate is open and elegant with nutty, spicy complexity and a long finish. Beautiful. 94/100

Burmester 30 Years Old Tawny
Lifted, aromatic spice and nut nose. The palate has warm complexity and lots of concentration. It is rounded and sweet with real depth, and notes of rum and raisin. Lovely wine. 94/100

Burmester 40 Years Old Tawny
Intense, spicy, casky nose with a savoury twist to the sweetness. The palate is soft, smooth and sweet with nice complexity and depth. This is soft and mellow, but with lively spicy notes on the finish. 94/100

Other Ports

Cálem Rosé Port
Everyone seems to be making pink Port these days. I’m not a huge fan of the category, although this is a good one. Full pink colour. Sweet cherryish nose leads to a fruity, sweet, slightly spicy palate. Attractive, appealing and sweet. 84/100

Cálem 20 Years Old Tawny
Brown colour. Rich warm nose is sweet and spicy. Quite complex. The palate is dense, sweet and nicely balanced with nut, raising and spice complexity. 91/100

Kopke Colheita 1966
Beautifully complex. Really dense with warm, spicy, old furniture, treacle and raisin notes. Mellow and super-concentrated with nice acidity and some citrus notes countering the sweet warmth. 95/100

Burmester Colheita 1937
Age really brings something to this wine. Intensely savoury nose with earth, spice and dried herb notes as well as some treacle/raisin sweetness. The palate is complex, savoury and spicy with lots of lovely cask notes and fresh acidity, as well as citrus, tar, spice, vanilla and nut characters. A long, long spicy finish. 97/100 


Kopke Branco 2009
Fresh, open, lemony nose is bright with some pithiness. The palate is fresh and lemony with nice fruit and good acidity. Clean and fresh. 87/100

Kopke Branco Reserva 2008
A blend of Viosinho, Arinto and Folgazão, given 10 h skin maceration, fermented and aged in French oak. Quite intense, with grapefruit and toast notes. The palate is bold, intense, lemony and fresh with some melon notes, too. Nice balance to this boldly flavoured wine. 89/100

Curva Branco Reserva 2008
Fernão Pires and Viosinho, aged in oak. Intense nose is spicy and toasty. The palate has bright, intense fruit, some tropical notes and also some lemon/grapefruit freshness, as well as subtle toastiness. Lovely depth. Unusual but nice. 89/100

Burmester Colheita Tinto 2008
Sweet, open cherry and blackberry fruit nose with hints of chocolate and vanilla. The palate shows lovely open, fresh fruit. Quite pure with sweet fruit dominant and some elegance. Accessible and appealing. 88/100

Casa Burmester Reserva Tinto 2007
Dense and quite rich with lots of sweet dark fruit, rounded off with some warm spicy oak influence. The oak is a little intrusive but the fruit is very nice. 87/100

Kopke Reserva Tinto 2007
A dense, structured wine with tightly wound dark fruits, spicy notes, some tannins and oak. Nice fruit sweetness but quite firm and closed at the moment. 88/100

Curva Reserva Tinto 2007
Vivid and intense with some spice and structure. Bold dark fruits and some evident oak. Tightwound and quite closed for now. Very nice fruit, but needs some time to develop. 89/100

See also:

The new Douro (series)

Wines tasted 05/10  
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