Quinta do Rol – Pinot passion and more from the Lisbon region

This small family-owned estate is located near Lourinhã, an hour or so north of Lisbon in a hilly coastal area cooled by the Atlantic, part of the Lisbon wine region.

Quinta do Rol is, as far as I know, the only producer in Portugal that grows exclusively Pinot Noir as a red grape. And their Pinot Noir red, priced at €29.95 in Apolónia, is one of the best Portuguese Pinots out there. Look out for the 2009 vintage.

The Pinot Noir grapes grown here are, however, also put to other uses, namely a very good sparkling pink and this interesting rosé. The colour is a slightly darker shade of salmon pink than is the current trend but this is an excellent dry rosé in the gastronomic style, certainly not a quaffing wine.

On the nose, there are juicy red fruit notes but in the mouth the wine is very dry with quite some body and a touch of tannic structure – a good match for grilled lamb or beef when looking for an alternative to red wine – €8.99 at Apolónia.

The producer also makes white varietals from grapes such as the Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, both good value at the same price as the rosé.

But the other wine from this producer that really impressed me is the Branco Seleção, also at the same price. This is the only blend made by Quinta do Rol from Alvarinho and Arinto with Chardonnay. The 2012 currently available at Apolónia hits far above the price tag and is in a different league to the others, a rich and complex un-oaked white, with long ageing on the lees in stainless steel with batonnage.

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