Poças: a Portuguese Port house now making some exceptional Douro table wines

Website: https://pocas.pt/en/#

One Douro estate that has been taking my eye of late is Poças. They are a family owned Portuguese Port house who have also been making some very smart table wines from their 76 hectares of vineyards (they have three estates: Quinta das Quartas, Quinta de Santa Bárbara and Quinta de Vale de Cavalos).

A recent addition to the range has been the Fora de Série wines, and this is where things get pretty exciting. Rather than just chase concentration, ripeness and extraction – which sadly many Douro producers do when they want to make something ambitious – Poças have a really nice aesthetic sensibility.


Poças Coroa Branco 2021 Douro
Codega is the variety here. Fresh, pure and linear with lovely citrus fruit. Bright and linear with a touch of pithiness. 89/100

Vale de Cavalos Branco 2021 Douro
This is Codega with some oak. Tight and focused showing forward, linear citrus fruit. Very linear in style with tight citrus to the fore. 90/100

Poças Reserva Branco 2020 Douro
Codega and Arinto. Linear and fresh with a touch of creamy, spicy depth. Nice focus and purity here with a good acid line and a stony edge. 90/100 

Poças Fora de Série Orange Wine Vinho Branco 2021 Douro, Portugal
11.5%. This is a blend of Arinto and Codega. It’s really aromatic with lovely lemon, mandarin and apricot notes as well as a hint of table grape and almond. The palate is bright and exotic with just a touch of structure, and lovely rounded fruit complemented by some fresh lemony acidity. Such a detailed wine, finishing with a twist of aniseed. Has freshness and drinkability, as well as some prettiness. 773 bottles made. 94/100

Poças Fora de Série Orange Wine Vinho Branco 2020 Douro, Portugal
Lovely freshness here with notes of green tea, spice and keen acidity. Mineral with a pithy edge. Juicy, lively and multidimensional, this is fresh and structured. 92/100

Poças Fora de Série Plano B Vinho Branco 2021 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. Gouveio and Rabigato here, aged in used oak. This is fine, delicate and mineral with lovely acidity and great precision. It’s fine and pure, showing citrus fruit with some richer pear and apple, and fine spices, all in a wonderful harmony. There’s a long, crystalline, precise finish with good acidity. A beautifully expressive wine of real precision. 5333 bottles made. 94/100

Poças Fora de Série Acrobata Vinho Branco 2021 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. A blend of Códega, Arinto and Rabigato, aged for 18 months in old 300 litre barrels under a thin layer of flor. Intriguing nose with some waxy hints to the pear, apple and lime fruit. The palate has great concentration with some structure and spicy depth under the sweet pear, melon and citrus fruit with keen acidity. There’s substance to this wine which shows purity, precision and complexity with a slight pithy edge to the fruit, and some bright brackish salinity. Has good potential for development. 95/100

Poças Fora de Série Vinho da Roga Tinto 2020 Douro, Portugal
12% alcohol. A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. This is an infusion-style wine with a short maceration on skins, resulting in a lighter-style red with hardly any tannin. It’s sappy, elegant, juicy and fine with some pepper and dried herb notes as well as strawberry and cherry fruit with a touch of redcurrant. There’s a sweet core to the fruit here with nice finesse, and also some green hints that work really well. Massive drinkability. 93/100

Poças Fora de Série Lagar das Quartas 2021 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. A blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz and also white grape Malvazia Fina. This is bright and expressive with lovely cranberry and raspberry notes, as well as some fine sappy greenness, and then some floral black cherry as well. It’s supple and drinkable with lovely freshness and poise: a lighter, more elegant style of Douro red with perfume and precision. This is really good. 5001 bottles made. 94/100

Poças Simbolo 2016 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. This flagship wine is made from fruit from a 40-60 year old vineyard in São João de Pesqueira and is matured for 18 months in new French oak. This is lush and sweetly aromatic with very rich cherry, berry and blackcurrant fruit, showing some new oak sheen. It has some drying tannins on the finish, and just feels a little forced and over-ripe, although there is a lot of concentration and some very nice fruit here. In its style, quite impressive, but I find there’s a slight bitterness on the finish that detracts from the fruit. 90/100

Poças Vale de Cavalos Branco 2019 Douro, Portugal
13.5% alcohol. This is a blend of Codega, Rabigato, Gouveio and Viosinho. It’s bright, pure and expressive with grapefruit and lemon fruit, as well as a touch of pear skin. Really sophisticated and refined: drinking well now, but it has potential for development. It reminds me of a very high quality white Bordeaux in terms of its structure. 93/100 (£14.99)

Poças Branco da Ribeira 2019 Douro, Portugal
13% alcohol. This is a blend of Arinto and Codega from Numão in the Douro Superior. This is quite a special wine. Grandly packaged. Lovely taut, fresh aromatics of citrus fruit with a hint of herbs and some lovely matchstick/flint mineral framing. In the mouth this has great concentration and freshness, with a hint of hazelnut, chiselled and tight with keen acidity, and a core of citrus fruit. There’s a very faint oiliness, and a bit of bitter grapefruit pith character right in the background. Such a lovely wine with its linear fruit and reductive framing, picked nice and early and vinified well. 94/100 (£34.99)

Poças Fora de Série Ânfora Matured in Clay Branco 2018 Douro, Portugal
13% alcohol. Just 616 bottles of this wine made, which is a blend of Arinto and Codega. This is really appealing with a lovely mineral, stony underpinning to the bright mandarin and lemon fruit with a hint of green apple. After a while in the glass some richer, more peachy notes emerge. This is really stylish with nice density and a lovely texture in the mouth. 93/100 (£34.99)

Poças Fora da Série Orange Wine 2019 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. A blend of Arinto and Codega. Gold/amber in colour, this has a nose of nuts, crystalline fruit and tea leaves. This is bright with some nice savoury hints and good structure. It is fresh and quite harmonious, with the tannins from the skins right in the background. Very stylish and nicely poised, with all the different elements working in harmony. 93/100 (£24.99)

Poças Fora de Série Vinho da Roga 2018 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. 720 bottles made. This is a lighter-extraction red, picked earlier. It’s a deconstruction of a wine that would have been given to workers in the harvest. This is a pale red in colour with some fading at the rim. There’s a subtle savoury earthy, herby edge to the red cherry fruit with a hint of orange peel and pepper. It’s a delicate, somewhat ethereal wine with nice texture and tension, finishing with some notes of cedar and earth. So attractive. 92/100 (£24.99)

Poças Fora da Série Tinta Roriz 2018 Douro, Portugal
14% alcohol. This is quite special. Beautiful floral black cherry and blackberry fruit on the nose with hints of olive and meat. The palate is fresh and vital with rich, seductive black fruits and hints of olive tapenade, tar and spice. This is a ripe wine, but there’s also lovely freshness. The oak is present, but in the background. A really impressive expression of the Douro, seen through the lens of a single variety. Drinking well now, but will benefit from a few more years in bottle. 94/100 (£29.99)

Poças Vintage Port 2018 Douro, Portugal
19.5% alcohol. Foot trodden by 70 friends of Poças whose names are on the bottle, in 19th century lagares. It’s a sweet, intense Port with fresh, floral raspberry and cherry fruit, backed up by good tannins. Nicely concentrated, and quite fresh and grippy. This will evolve in a more elegant direction, I feel. Juicy and lively, with nice vitality and quite a bit of prettiness. 92/100

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