Portuguese Winemaker Luis Duarte Likes Taking Risks - and it's Paying Off

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A Possible Pour Wine Review: Tasting Rapariga da Quinta 2015 Red
Rapariga da Quinta

Luis Duarte likes taking risks. For over 25 years this award-winning Portuguese winemaker and consultant has been successfully producing quality wines for several brands in the Alentejo appellation of Portugal. Although relatively unknown in other parts of the world, Duarte has been lauded for his highly intuitive ability to produce wines that the international consumer will enjoy without standardizing the quality. His techniques include using native and French grape varietals, combining centuries-old winemaking techniques with modern-day technology, and of course, taking risks. This video provides more insight about the winemaker and his passion for Portuguese wines. 

In 2007, Duarte felt the time was right to make wines from his own 20-acre vineyard in Alentejo. One of his wines is Rapariga da Quinta 2015 Red (14% alc/purchased $15.00). It doesn’t disappoint. First of all, I really like the label. It’s abstract and reminds me of the art of John Lennon. It tells me that something different and interesting is in the bottle and I should open it.  

The wine pours in the glass and fills the bowl with a beautiful deep violet color. Taking a long sniff, I’m excited with aromas of earth, toasted wood, vanilla and lush berry. Tasting the wine, I get more of those lush berries and toasted wood in the mouth mixed with minerals and just enough acidity. The finish is long and smooth with soft tannins and hints of cocoa.  

Duarte’s winemaking process includes fermentation in stainless steel vats and then aging in old French oak barrels for 12 months. AragonezTrincadeira and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varietals were used for this vintage. 

This is a wine that is bound to please and you can pair many types of food with it including pasta and meat dishes. We enjoyed our bottle with a marinated grilled pork loin and roasted potatoes. 

I’m reminded time and again that Portuguese wines are some of the best produced in the world but still undervalued and unrecognized in many international markets including the U.S. For many risk-averse consumers of wine, they don’t try what they don’t know. Grocery store brands are easy, recognizable and predictable. So, I’ll double dare you. Follow Luis Duarte’s lead and take a risk on Portuguese wines. Cheers! 

Details:

Rapariga dwine a Quinta Red

Available in select U.S. wine stores and online.

This content was brought to you by Southwest Wine Guide. If you enjoyed this post, please share it! Possible Pours is the name of Southwest Wine Guide’s blog. Carol A. Wilcox, co-founder Southwest Wine Guide (aka Ms. Possible Pours) writes the blog. Carol accepts guest post writing opportunities as her time permits. You can contact Carol here. 


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