The Douro


Quinta da Manuela 2001 is a Portuguese wine from the middle of the Douro region, an locality more famous for its port production, but one that has developed a reputation for quality light wines. Made from the celebrated Touriga Nacional grape, this wine, therefore, has some pedigree. Sixteen years old and decanted 24 hours previously, gives some idea of how tannic this might have been in its youth – a signature of many Portuguese wines.

The appearance was an off-putting, murky ruby with a slightly brown rim; the nose being red fruits but very fleeting. Not a promising start. It was redeemed, to some extent, by the palate. There were certainly tannins present, but they were in balance as was the alcohol. It had an attractive silky quality, some pleasing cherry flavours which helped maintain its freshness. Its age had helped give it a lighter weight than expected from this grape and region.

I enjoyed this wine’s freshness and can appreciate how this would be even better with some flavourful food but I sense (and Richard will confirm) that this would be rather expensive for what it actually delivered.

[Richard, about £17, special parcel from TWS in 2011, last of six. Previously blogged here. This wasn’t as good, perhaps because it was unnecessarily decanted. Definitely some bottle variation, anyway as this tasted quite young with the cherry flavours. I’ve never had much luck with Portuguese reds and it’s odd how they have failed to establish a UK market, with the exception of port, of course.]



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