Quinta da Boavista "Torre de Tavares" Branco 2019
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Direct Press Selection | May 2022
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João Tavares de Pina’s wines are getting double billing in this month’s wine club mostly because his wines have that special something that is hard to put your finger on but stand out in a crowd. He is a big believer in the Dao’s potential to be one of the great wine regions of the world. It’s a granite plateau with vineyards found in rugged outcroppings surrounded by pines and bare rocks. In the 19th century, Dao was called the “Burgundy of the South” but the 20th century was marked by a huge drop in quality, as a law forced all grapes to be sent to cooperatives that made clunky, overbearing wines. In a region whose strength is finesse and elegance, this was devastating, and it lasted until the 1990s.
With growers like João, you can once again see the delicate, Burgundian sparkle in the region’s wines. Torre de Tavares is a blend of Cerceal and Bical with about a week of skin contact, not to make it orange, but to add a tactile component. While I wasn’t surprised to find notes of apple skin and salinity, I was surprised at the lip-smacking cut of acidity that lifted the wine up and created a deeply satisfying tension between all the elements. The precision and detail in João’s winemaking is palpable. The cleansing, rocky elements would make this a great choice when you need to cut through rich, fatty dishes like pork belly, but it has enormous gastronomic potential. Beyond that, it’s simply a soulful, elegant wine that I can’t wait to open another bottle of. [Jonathan Kemp, April 2022]