New crops, happy oenophiles

More than two decades of hard work are spent to build a brand that today is a reference in the Douro region. Jorge Serôdio Borges and Sandra Tavares are the duo of winemakers responsible for Wine & Soul, a project aimed at more demanding palates. Recently, they presented the new harvests of their range of wines.

When in 2001 Sandra Tavares da Silva and Jorge Serôdio Borges bought old vineyards in the Douro, next to the Pinhão River, on the terraces of Vale Mendiz, they knew from the beginning that it had to be a project based on the production of high quality wines. The idea was to be able to express the character of the indigenous vineyards and grape varieties of the region, seeking the balance of their elements. The bet was won. Jorge and Sandra, partners in life and in the profession, managed not only to produce the desired wines, but also to pass the message effectively, to the point of being recognized for their quality at national but also international level. In addition, apart from the awards already won by the pair of winemakers, in November 2020, Jancis Robinson, renowned journalist and wine critic of the British newspaper Finantial Times, included Sandra Tavares in the list of 24 winemakers she most admires worldwide. All to play in favor and focus on the success of the project.

During the launch of the new harvests were presented the wines Vinha do Altar and Guru (both white, from the harvest of 2021), the Pintas Character and the Pintas (reds, the harvest of 2020) and the Ports Manoella Tawny 20 years and Vintage 2020.

Starting with the whites, the grapes of the varieties Viosinho, Gouveio and Arinto do Vinha do Altar came from the plateau of Fermentões, at 600 meters of altitude and north exposure, which gives them greater freshness. After the harvest, the grapes were selected, desengaçadas and lightly pressed. Fermentation was then made at low temperature and stage on the lees for 6 months. It resulted in a white of citrus and mineral aroma; with dry, fresh and crunchy palate, already with some presence. However, it is his 'big brother', the Guru, who is giving more solid cards. With floral, citrus and mineral aroma, it had the same treatment as the 'younger brother' but its fermentation took place in French oak barrels for 4 weeks at low temperatures, having aged in the same barrels for 8 months with bâttonage. Elaborated with the varieties Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Viosinho and Gouveio is a full-bodied white, unctuous, seductive. Very long in the race, with good texture and excellent finish.

In reds, Character 2020 is made with grapes from old vines, where there are about 30 native varieties. The grapes duly selected and partially desengadas, fermented in lagar with foot step for 10 days. The malolactic stage and fermentation took place in French oak barrels for 18 months. On the nose reveals fresh fruit and spice, and on the palate has good texture and concentration. As with previous wines, there is also an 'older brother'. It is the Pintas of 2020, which includes in its composition grapes of a single plot with 89 years, with about 40 indigenous varieties of the Douro. The grapes properly selected and desengaçadas fermented in lat by stepping on foot for 10 days. The malolactic stage and fermentation took place in French oak barrels for 20 months. Complex, sophisticated and with a structure of respect, it is a very rich wine that reveals well the genuineness of the Douro with its notes of red fruits, minerals and spice. In the mouth it is concentrated and elegant with perfect tannins, fruit well present and very long finish. A very fine and high-level wine.  

Finally, the ports. "We have been growing and we want to give the same attention to the ports that we give to the table wines. We will soon launch the harvest and, within the profile, we want it to maintain the identity, depth, flavor and freshness that characterize these ports by their 'drinkability', especially with regard to tawnies", explains Jorge Serôdio Borges. But while they do not launch the said harvest, this tawny manoella dated 20 years already does the honors of the house, produced with more than 30 indigenous varieties from old vineyards and interned in old hulls of Portuguese brown for 20 years. In the aroma reveals evident dry fruit, associated with notes of honey and figs. In the mouth is extremely rich in flavors and with a very long finish. "It's a novelty, we bottled a small amount, around 2,100 bottles, the goal is to go selling and bottled", explains the winemaker. "Quinta da Manoella has always produced tawnies with great freshness and longevity. It's not too sweet but it can't be austere either, it has to have some expression but not excessive, it has to be elegant," adds Sandra Tavares da Silva.

At Pintas Porto Vintage 2020, the aromatic notes refer to the red fruits, with fresh notes of blackberry, cassis and violets to be adored. In the mouth predominate tense and defined tannins, excellent concentration and freshness, with very ripe fruit. Coming from grapes from old vineyards where there are more than 40 indigenous varieties in the region, it was a beautiful way to finish this tasting of new harvests of the renowned duo of winemakers.