The wines of Quinta da Boavista, Douro, Portugal


Boavista is an important Quinta in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro. It is best known for its striking terraces, with astonishing stone walls that enable very steep slopes to be farmed. It was purchased by Smith and Lima, who also purchased Covela in the Minho, but last June was sold to Sogevinus. When these wines were made, winemaking was in the hands of Rui Cunha, with consultancy from Jean-Claude Berrouet of Bordeaux. To be honest, I was a little disappointed by these wines. They are good, but not nearly as good as they should be considering the vineyard they come from. Perhaps Sogevinus will implement a more sympathetic winemaking regime that brings the best from Boavista.

Quinta da Boavista Vinha do Oratório 2017 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. From very old vines on the dramatic stone-walled terraces at Boavista. 25 or so different varieties. This has a slightly oxidative volatile nose. The palate is fresh and lively with some sweetness from the volatile acidity, and also some freshness. Sleek black cherry fruit with a slight saltiness, and some notes of tar and spice. At the high price this wine commands, it should be better. 88/100

Quinta da Boavista Vinha do Ujo 2017 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. A field blend of 90+ year old vines planted on a north-facing terrace, fermented in 500 litre barrels and then aged in small oak. This is fresh and intense with a spicy, woody edge to the sweet blackberry and black cherry fruit. It’s rounded with some oxidative hints, and juicy cherry fruit on the finish. There’s a great concentration of fruit here, but once again I feel like the oxygen exposure in the winemaking was pushed a little too far and the result is a slightly fragile wine, but which at the moment is drinkable and pleasurable, but which I wouldn’t age. 90/100

Boa-Vista Reserva 2017 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. Ripe and plush, with sweet liqueur-like berry and cherry fruits, as well as some grippy tannins and spicy oak. It has nice freshness and plenty of lush, ripe fruit, but it feels perhaps a little too polished. There’s plenty to like, though, with its dense, structured black fruits and grippy finish. 92/100

Boa-Vista Reserva 2016 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. Brooding black fruit aromatics with some spice and gravel notes. The palate is structured and quite dense with some tar, spice and faint rubbery notes under the blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. It’s grippy and unyielding, but with potential for further development. There’s a lot of structure and intensity here: quite and extracted wine. 91/100

Boa-Vista Reserva 2015 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. There’s a restrained stony edge to the brooding black fruit nose. The palate has notes of tar, cedar and spice under the ripe blackberry fruit, with nice structure. It’s beginning to show a little development, and has some dry notes on the finish, with tannic grip, some gravel and ash, and a bit of tartness from the acidity, as well as spicy oak. This is an impressively dense wine, but isn’t hitting a harmonious spot at the moment: it’s all modern and extracted, and the flavours need to fuse a little more. 91/100

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