January 24, 2010

Quinta da Gricha

Quinta da Gricha 2007 has just been rated as the "Best Old World Wine" by Stephen Spurrier in the Feb 2010 edition of Decanter.

2010 promises to be an exciting year at Quinta da Gricha; not only are we completing the new planting of 15 hectares of vineyard, but we also hope to start on the restoration of the house and the supporting infrastructure of outlying buildings. This will include the conversion of the old "cardenhos" into a lab and tasting room.

The new vineyards are licensed to grow Douro wine and we are concentrating on planting more Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca to increase the total percentage of these grape varieties in the overall vineyard to 40% and 25% respectively.

January 06, 2010

Touriga Nacional

One of my New Year's resolutions is to get blogging again, and my apologies to those of you who have noticed my absence!

Once again a Churchill's Douro wine was in the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year. This time it was our recently launched Churchill Estates Touriga Nacional 2007.

I am delighted that the Wine Spectator panel selected this wine, as it comes from a vineyard we planted with Touriga Nacional at Quinta da Gricha shortly after we bought the property in 1999. We are now in the process of planting a further 15 hectares of Touriga Nacional at Gricha so it is good timing to recieve this acknowledgement and very rewarding to have our efforts appreciated.

Touriga Nacional has become such an emblematic grape variety for the "New Douro". It was always prized by Port producers but, being a low yielder, was never favoured by the farmers. Now that vineyard owners are marketing their own wines, Touriga Nacional is receiving the attention it deserves in the vineyard. These small, tightly-knit grapes are reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon and produce an intense violet coloured wine with a distinctive nose of sweet basil and a fine, well structured body.

Quinta da Gricha, with its North-facing vineyard produces a very vinous, fresh style of wine which is evident in this Churchill Estates Touriga Nacional 2007. It is a chunky wine with a soft velvety palate and plenty of natural acidity - very drinkable now but will age well for another few years.