João Portugal Ramos Alentejo
For more than 20 years, João Ramos has been the leading consultant oenologist in the south of Portugal, working for some of Alentejo’s best cooperatives. His own project has gained increasing momentum in the past decade, producing wines under his own label on his estate near Estremoz but also working for others as a consultancy. The top wine is the Marqués de Borba Reserva, a powerful but composed blend of Aragonês, Trincadeira and some Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon, with excellent dimension and weight, needing 5–10 years to show at its best. Vila Santa, with the same varieties (if more based on Trincadeira), shows style and harmony, even elegance and continues to be excellent value for money, as is the vibrantly fruity Vila Santa white, a blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Verdelho, new in 2008. Varietal examples of Trincadeira and Aragonês show good fruit definition and supple structures. A varietal Syrah of considerable black fruit intensity, if more marginal balance has been made since 2000. More unusual, if not unique, is a supple, perfumed varietal Tinta Caiada. A simple Marqués de Borba white and varietal Antão Vaz are good, clean whites for early consumption. Of the other wines, Quinta de Viçosa provides a very ripe and powerful Syrah/Trincadeira and lush black-fruited Single Vineyard (Touriga Nacional and Merlot) from the Alentejo. Also worth tracking down are the wines of Quinta de Foz de Arouce in the Beiras, owned by João’s father-in-law. A new single-vineyard wine, Vinha de Santa Marta, has been produced since 2001. It shows a classic rugged, black fruited character and including Touriga Nacional is very classy. Production of a white was resumed in 2004. Ramos also owns Falua in Tejo, source of good value export-focused brands Tagus Creek and the more upmarket Conde de Vimioso white and red. DUORUM is his exciting Douro joint venture with former Barca Velha winemaker José Maria Soares Franco.
To find out more about João Portugal Ramos and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Portugal..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.