We thought this might be a challenge, not in the slightest! Tasked, with finding wines that typify the elegance and complexity that the best examples from the Dão region can offer. They managed to land one of the real jewels of this DOC, Quinta dos Roques , a winery that is an absolute rising star in a very fast trajectory. Jancis Robinson has just rated many of their wines 17 points or higher!
Quinta dos Roques, situated in the small hamlet of Abrunhosa do Mato between Mangualde and Nelas, is a brilliant example of the spirit with which the new Dão is being created.
Vines and wines have been part of the everyday life of this family here for over a century, though production at one time was little more than that needed for household consumption. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, a new page was turned in the history of this quinta. The original system of cultivating vines by hand and delivering the grapes to the local co-operative ended, and a project designed to produce high-quality Dão wines was introduced. The first priority was the vines. Using the latest techniques, the best varieties from the region were planted on the granitic and, at times, schistous soil of the gentle southern slopes. After a few years, when wine production was steady and consistent, a new adega was built combining the modern with the traditional; science and technology with art. Side by side, in perfect symbiosis, electronic presses appeared alongside granite lagares, stainless steel vats with oak barrels, cold systems with underground cellars and the very first wines produced were proof that the venture would be highly successful. The Quinta dos Roques now has around 40 hectares of modern vines, which are notable for the quality of the grapes produced. Almost 75% of the area is given over to red varieties, Touriga Nacional (40%), Jaen, Alfrocheiro, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, and Rufete; the remaining 25% are white varieties with a prevalence of Encruzado (40%), Malvasia Fina, Bical and Cercial. The gradually increasing production averages 150,000 litres, of which one quarter is white wine and three quarters red wine.
The whites really are as exciting as the reds all with alcohol levels around 13-13.5%. Expect intrigue, excitement but most importantly wonderful wines that will elevate the dishes served to accompany them without burgeoning alcohol levels. Joyous is our take!