Wine Culture and Information - Volume 13
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Castelinho

In the Douro region, homeland of the renowned and excellent Port wines, Castelinho devotes its passion to grape and land, producing excellent wines, from outstanding still wines to magnificent Ports

 Thinking about Portugal it is almost impossible not to think about Port wines, the renowned fortified wines known for their excellent elegance. Portugal wines are not just Port and Port also means Douro, one of the best quality wine areas of Portugal. In this area, besides Port, are also produced excellent wines with local grapes which are sometimes rich, full bodied and elegant. Castelinho Vinhos is devoted to both Port style wines and still wines, a combination which is capable of proving the high quality of this winery.


Quinta do Castelinho
Quinta do Castelinho

 Quinta do Castelinho, the former name of the winery which is still used for their Port style wines, has always been known as a high quality wine producer and is currently associated to the Saraiva family. The winery is headed today by Manuel António Crúzio Saraiva who runs the company and continues the work that was started by his father, in the 1960's, in the name of Port wines greatness. Nowadays Quinta do Castelinho is one of the biggest producers of Port wine as a result of their efforts in promoting their own brand name. Castelinho Vinhos is located after Cachão da Valeira and benefits of a privileged geographical condition, with a micro climate influenced by both Atlantic and Mediterranean conditions, schistose soil which allows constant heat concentration, well positioned slopes in the region with generous and balanced amounts of sunlight and a careful selection of the best Portuguese grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz. Castelinho's vineyards and winery are located in the S. João da Pasqueira area, in the heart of Cima Corgo, classified as “A”, the highest classification given by regulating authorities. Sheltered by the basin formed in the region, Quinta do Castelinho region consists of approximately 120 acres, 50 of which are vineyards.

 Quinta do Castelinho is located inside the Douro valley, the first demarcated region in the world by Marquês de Pombal who ordered in 1757 that the borders of the valley be marked with solid granite markers. The past of Quinta do Castelinho accompanies the history of Port wine; the early days of the winery coincide with the coming down of the stone boulders that crossed the Douro river and made it possible to navigate from Oporto to Barca d'Alva. From October 22, 1789 all farms located before Cachão da Valeira, including Castelinho, could finally progress. In 1848 Quinta do Castelinho linked Quinta do Padrão, Quinta da Azenha, Quinta do Vau and Quinta do Pelão, all indicated on Baron Forrester's map. In 1903 Quinta do Castelinho belonged to Mr. A. P. Ferreira Múaze and at that time, with a perimeter of 11 Km, was considered to be quite extensive. Around 1939 Mrs. Berta Damasceno Ribeiro Meda was in charge of the property, being then passed onto Mr. Mário Alberto Milhano and finally to Manuel António Saraiva, father of the company's current chairman of the board. When Quinta do Castelinho was acquired in 1969, Manuel Anónio Saraiva (father) was responsible for the transportation of Port wine through his transportation company located in Pinhão. At that time, all wine produced on properties in the Douro region was then transported to export companies located in Vila Nova de Gaia. In 1986, with the establishment of the Douro Trading Center, Quinta do Castelinho launches its own brand name and is nowadays well positioned in the Port wine business. In 1990 the company changed its name to Quinta Castelinho and in the same decade changed it again to Castelinho Vinhos. Three years later Castelinho Vinhos S.A. became one of the first producers of Port wine to export directly from the demarcated region of Douro and, in the following years, acquired Quinta de S. Domingos, where they built a warehouse to stock and to age wine, along with the main administrative office and a reception center for tourism.


Mr. Manuel Ant\'onio Saraiva (father)
Mr. Manuel António Saraiva (father)

 Symbolizing the excellence of Portugal, Port wine, as we know it, first came into the market in 1820. Because of its unique taste, this sweet and fine wine captivated the English bourgeois in the beginning of the century, making one of the most appreciated wine in the world. Port wine is a fortified wine which is obtained by stopping the fermentation process by adding brandy from grapes. There are two types of Port: red and white. White Port is exclusively made of white grapes and follows wine making procedures similar to red Port wine production. Whit an alcohol level from 9% to 22%, they are characterized by sweetness from very sweet (the so called “Lágrima”), to sweet (“Doces”), semi sweet (“Meios Doces”), dry (“Secos”) and extra dry (“Extra Secos”). As for red Ports, there are two major groups: the ones produced from non dated lots, made up from a mixed lot (Ruby, Tawny, 10, 20, 30, 40 years older and even older) and dated Ports (Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage or LBV in short, and Dated Ports). Because of the number of years in which Port wine age as well as the container (wooden barrel or bottle), it acquires a great variety of aromas and flavors which are complex and rich.


Mr. Manuel Ant\'onio Cr\'uzio Saraiva,
Chairman of Castelinho Vinhos
Mr. Manuel António Crúzio Saraiva, Chairman of Castelinho Vinhos

 Quinta do Castelinho produces a complete range of Port wines, from standard wines to special categories. Standard categories consist of delicately fruity young wines ideal to drink daily. Standard Port wines produced by the winery include White Port, Tawny, obtained from lots aged in casks and usually has an average age of 3 years, and Ruby, a young and fruity Port wine obtained by blending recent wines. Special category Ports, that is superior quality Port wines, include Tawny Port, released as Reserve, 10, 20, 30 and 40 years old and dated, Ruby colored Port, released as Vintage Character, LBV and Vintage. Among Port wines, the ones which certainly are considered the best are the glamorous Vintages which are produced only in the very best years, in limited quantities, and with the best grapes. Quinta do Castelinho has produced great Vintages throughout the 1990's, namely in 1991, 1994, 1996 and especially in 1997. Vintage Ports are intended to be saved in cellars in order to allow their astonishing and astounding development, something that can be tasted by the ones who are patient and want to very best from Vintage ports.

 Quinta do Castelinho is also excellent still wines. Although the fame and prestige of Port wines has throughout the century overshadowed the quality of Douro table wines, nowadays the Douro still wines, being recognized as Denominação de Origem Controlada (Controlled Denomination of Origin), in short DOC, are a great venture for the region and it is where Quinta do Castelinho has one of its greatest assets. In order to achieve this, Quinta do Castelinho selects the most adequate grapes of its property, as well as obtaining the best grapes of some neighboring farms in the Cima Corgo region. All the conditions exist in its wine making center to produce high quality Douro wines, white and red, including an area where wine ages in new French and American oak barrels. The following wines produced by Quinta do Castelinho have been very successful at a national and international level: Douro Castelinho Colheita, Castelinho Reserva and Lagar dos Saraivas. Most recently Castelinho has extended its activity to some of Portugal's best wine regions, bottling wines from the Alentejo, Dão and Vinho Verde with their own brand names. At the same time they have expanded their product line to include a Bagaceira brandy and a very old wine brandy, aged in oak casks for more than 35 years.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Quinta do Castelinho Porto Vintage 1999, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Quinta do Castelinho Porto Vintage 1999
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 13,57 Score:
The wine shows a ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose reveals pleasing aromas of black berried fruit such as black cherry, cherry macerated in alcohol, blueberry and blackberry as well as an intense and very pleasing aroma of violet followed by hints of vanilla. The mouth denotes good balance, intense, full bodied and good correspondence to the nose, good tannins well balanced by alcohol and good roundness. The finish is persistent with clean and pleasing hints of violet and black cherry. A very good Port which will certainly improve with some more bottle aging.
Food Match: Hard and fermented cheese, Fruit tarts, Confectionery



Quinta do Castelinho Porto LBV 1997, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Quinta do Castelinho Porto LBV 1997
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 5,93 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine has a ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense and persistent aromas, clean and very elegant with great personality. There can be perceived aromas of black cherry, cherry jam, strawberry jam, blueberry and blackberry as well as as intense and pleasing aroma of violet. In the mouth is round, soft, balanced with good correspondence to the nose, good balance between alcohol and tannins. The finish is very persistent with clean and very long hints of violet and cherry. Excellent Port which will be capable of giving great emotions with a further aging in bottle.
Food Match: Hard and fermented cheese, Fruit tarts, Confectionery



Quinta do Castelinho Porto Tawny 10 Anos, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Quinta do Castelinho Porto Tawny 10 Anos
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 7,40 Score:
Excellent 10 years old Port. The wine shows a deep orange red color and nuances of orange red, transparent. The nose is rich, intense and of great personality, with clean and elegant aromas of black cherry jam, cherry jam, almond, licorice, cocoa, leather, dried fig and and elegant touch of dried violet and vanilla. In the mouth is rich, complex and has good correspondence to the nose, soft tannins well balanced by alcohol. The finish is very persistent with very long, elegant and pleasing hints of dried violet, dried fig and cherry jam. A great Port, very well made and elegant which will give rich and intense emotions even when enjoyed alone.
Food Match: Hard and fermented cheese, Dried fruit



Quinta do Castelinho Porto Tawny 20 Anos, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Quinta do Castelinho Porto Tawny 20 Anos
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 10,34 Score:
Magnificent 20 years old Port. The wine shows a deep amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose is rich, elegant and of great personality with intense aromas, clean, complex and harmonious. There can be perceived aromas of caramel, fig jam, plum jam, chocolate, leather, mushrooms, almond, rhubarb and cinchona as well as hints of vanilla sugar. In mouth reveals an excellent correspondence to the nose, rich, intense and complex, harmonious and well balanced. The finish is very persistent with pleasing, elegant and very elegant hints of caramel, fig jam and plum jam. A great and magnificent Port, rich in emotions which can be tasted alone in complete meditation.
Food Match: Hard and fermented cheese, Dried fruit



Douro 1999, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Douro 1999
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca
Price: € 1,84 Score:
The wine shows a ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals pleasing aromas, clean and elegant, mainly of fruit, such as black cherry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry followed by eucalyptus, violet and vanilla. In mouth has good correspondence to the nose, full bodied and good balance between tannins and alcohol. The finish is persistent with evident hints of raspberry, strawberry and black cherry.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Douro Reserva 1999, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Douro Reserva 1999
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 3,24 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose denotes elegance with clean, refined and intense aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, plum and black currant followed by licorice, violet and vanilla. In mouth reveals full body with good correspondence to the nose. The attack is pretty alcoholic however well balanced by tannins. The finish is persistent with hints of black cherry, plum and black currant. This wine is aged in American oak barrels until it is being bottled.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Douro Lagar dos Saraivas 1999, Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Douro Lagar dos Saraivas 1999
Castelinho Vinhos (Portugal)
Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa
Price: € 13,28 Score:
Simply a great wine. This wine has an intense ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose reveals great personality with clean, elegant and refined aromas. There can be perceived aromas of black cherry jam, blueberry and black currant followed by licorice, eucalyptus, coffee, vanilla and toasted. The mouth denotes excellent correspondence to the nose, excellent balance and full body. The finish is very persistent with long and pleasing hints of black cherry jam and black currant. Exceptional wine.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Castelinho Vinhos S.A. - Quinta de S. Domingos, Apartado 140 - 5054-909 Peso da Régua (Portugal) Tel. +351 254 320 100 Fax +351 254 320 109 - Winemaker: - Established: - Production: bottles - E-Mail: castelinho@castelinho-vinhos.pt - WEB: www.castelinho-vinhos.pt


 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 6, March 2003   
CastelinhoCastelinho Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 5, February 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 7, April 2003

Cellar Journal


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