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The wines of Duas Quintas, Douro, Portugal

Casa Ramos Pinto, Av. Ramos Pinto, n400 - 4401, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Tel: +351 223 707 000 Fax: + 351 223 775 099
Website: www.ramospinto.pt E-mail: ramospinto@ramospinto.pt 
UK agent: MMD (maison@mmdltd.co.uk)  

see a more recent review, based on a visit in May 2004

Ramos Pintos Duas Quintas occupies an important place in the recent history of Douro table wines. From 1952 until the 1970s, there was only one table wine of any reknown from this wonderfully rugged region, Barca Velha. Next on the scene was Quinta do Cttos Grand Eschola, and some time later Ramos Pinto joined the party with the release of the Duas Quintas red in 1990, and the Reserva in 1991. Until the recent burst of activity on the table wine scene (starting in the mid-1990s) these three wines set the standard.

The two vineyards prinicpally used to make these wines, Quinta da Ervamoira and Quinta dos Bons Ares, are located high up the Douro, in the hotter part of the region known as Douro Superior, by Foz Ca.

Joo Nicolau de Almeida is the man behind Duas Quintas. He joined Ramos Pinto in 1976. Hes also famous for his work with Jos Ramos Pinto Rosas that involved selecting the five key varieties recommended for the Douro region, amid the myriad of varieties that are grown here. Hes also been involved in developing alternative ways of planting vineyards in the Douro to facilitate mechanisation.

There are two wines in the range. The relatively cheap and rather unremarkable Tinto, and then the Reserva, which is a step up in terms of both price and quality.

Duas Quinta Tinto 2000 Douro
Nice herbal edge to the berry fruit nose. Nicely weighted juicy fruit on the palate. Quite a subtle style. Very good 84/100 (6.99)

Duas Quintas Reserva 1997 Douro
Appealing, open, spicy herby nose has a nice minerally edge. Expressive. Structured, savoury palate with a leafy, herby edge. Very appealing. Very good/excellent 90/100 (18.99)

Duas Quintas Reserva 1999 Douro
Principally Touriga Nacional. Rich sweet-edged caramelly nose of ripe fruit with a slightly roasted edge. Theres good concentration of ripe herb-tinged berry fruit on the palate. Very good+ 87/100 (20.49)

Duas Quintas Reserva 2000 Douro
Full, intense, herby nose with a spicy, slightly tarry edge. Very appealing. Good concentration on the palate. Intense, herby edged tarry berry fruit. Nicely savoury with some good structure. Very good/excellent 91/100

Duas Quintas Reserva Especial 2000 Douro
Chewy, savoury, intense and brooding with firm tannic structure and a nice herbal complexity. Very rich and bold but with some elegance. Very good/excellent 91/100

See also: the Douro wine revolution

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