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The new Douro: part 4

Jorge Moriera: making a name for himself with Poeira, a new Douro star 

Perhaps the pick of the crop of the new band of Portuguese winemakers is Jorge Moreira, who's been winemaker at Quinta de la Rosa for a year and a bit. Poeira, his own project, is now in the second vintage (2002), and although this is early days still, Iíll stick my neck out and say that this looks destined to become a classic, not just in Portugal, but with an international reputation. 

I've met Jorge a few times and tried his wines on several occasions, but I haven't yet seen his vineyard. I have it on good authority, though, that it consists of 2.5 hectares of old vines and 1.5 hectares that have been newly planted.

Jorge spent seven years as winemaker with Real Compania Velha, but felt slightly frustrated by the fact that he had to spend so much time in Vila Nova, away from the vines. Then he had the opportunity to buy a vineyard, Quinta da Terra Feita de Cima, in the Pinh„o valley of the Douro ís Cima Corgo. In this warm climate, the fact that the vineyard was north facing was key to Jorgeís plans, because he didnít want to make a wine with lots of colour and heavy tannins, but rather one with freshness, acidity and aromatic potential. Jorge was initially worried about how his wines would be received; with their emphasis on acidity and elegance, they go against the grain of the super-ripe international-style that has proved so successful. He neednít have been concerned; with some help from his mentor Dirk Niepoort , whose distribution company carries the wine in Portugal , the 2001 sold out quickly. 

While 2002 was a difficult vintage in the Douro , if anything his 2002 has surpassed the superb 2001 in terms of quality. There's none for the UK, as yet - let's hope this changes.

Poeira 2002
Initially quite shy, savoury and taut on the nose, but opens out to reveal spicy, liquoricey edged dark fruits with a lovely earthy complexity. The palate is concentrated and dense with more dark fruits and a profound structure: spicy, earthy tannins with good acidity. Very refined and intense. It's not as aromatic and forward as the 2001, but there's perhaps better structure and longevity to this. A tiny bit stern at the moment, but will likely be singing in a decade's time, and may evolve positively for even longer. Very good/excellent 94/100

see also: a previous report on Poeira, and a tasting note on the 2001 

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