Quinta do Monte d’Oiro Estremadura
The decision to modernise this winery, now one of the stars of both Lisboa and Portugal, was taken back in 1990. Engineer, businessman and talented amateur chef José Bento dos Santos was inspired by the great reds of Côte Rôtie and set out to emulate them on his ‘hill of gold’ near Alenquer. The results of an initial replanting of less than 3 ha to Syrah were such that since 1998 the balance of 15 ha of vineyard now also includes new Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca along with a little Viognier and Petit Verdot. The food-friendly wines are made by Graça Gonçalves with consultancy from Maison Chapoutier who also consult on biodynamic treatments in the vineyard. The winery rapidly forged its reputation for world class wines with the release of the 1999 bottling of Homenagem a António Carqueijeiro. This is Syrah-based with 6% Viognier and essentially the same blend is used in the estate Reserva (with around 4% Viognier). The latter is no longer aged in 100% new French barriques, which delightfully showcases its refined deep raspberry/blackberry fruit, making for a more finely poised wine that rewards time in glass. It has a white Rhône companion in Madrigal, a part barrel-fermented aromatic but subtle Viognier with good finesse. There is lots of potential too in Aurius which has a fine interplay of preserved red and black fruits if not yet the concentration or depth for really fine wine. This blend includes the new fruit from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Petit Verdot as well as Syrah. Also made are Têmpera, based on Tinta Roriz and the entry level Lybra, a bright, fresh and stylish red fruited Syrah. Since 2006 Santos and Michel Chapoutier have worked together under their eponymous label Bentos e Chapoutier, making Ex Aequo, a sumptuous blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Touriga Nacional (★★★).
To find out more about Quinta do Monte d’Oiro 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.