FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

  • The Editors

Although Quinta do Vallado was founded by the Ferreira family in 1716 and served as the primary grape supplier to the Ferreira Port House, locals identify the history of this Douro estate most closely with Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, its 19th-century chatelaine. Widowed at 33, Dona Antónia assumed command of the Quinta, expanding the Ferreira holdings, improving viticultural practices, and developing the region’s infrastructure. Today, her descendants carry on this progressive spirit in their pursuit of oenological perfection. In 1993, the family established the estate’s independence from the Ferreira label, replanted many of its vineyards, and constructed a state-of-the-art winery that accommodates not only the traditional fortified wines but also superb table wines, the rarest and most elegant of which honors Dona Antónia. Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Douro Red 2005—a blend primarily of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Amarela varietals—is unctuous, black-red, and redolent of rose hips, grape lozenges, and root beer. The palate melds sultry flavors of sweet mesquite smoke, black plum, chocolate, and coriander into a finish as generous as the great lady herself. ($200) www?.quintessentialwines.com

The popularity of classic cocktails in recent years has prompted the revival of certain classic spirits. Such is the case with Bols Genever. When the Dutch-born King William III ascended to the British throne in 1689, his soldiers introduced genever—a blend of 50 percent distilled malt wine and 50 percent redistilled botanicals—to England. But the British, lacking the expertise to make malt wine, simply produced the botanical component, which they called gin. In 2008, Lucas Bols—a brand established in Amsterdam in 1575—?launched this 84-proof genever based on the company’s 1820s recipe. The smooth, viscous spirit has overtones of malt, juniper, cardamom, and sage, and sips well straight or mixed in a Collins cocktail. ($39) www.bolsgenever.com

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