Cellar Notes: Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo 2008

    The Amorim family’s fortune had its beginnings among the rambling port lodges that line the hillsides above the Douro River in Porto, but the family did not amass its wealth by making Portugal’s famous fortified wine; rather, its members were engaged in the less glamorous business of manufacturing cork stoppers. Their success, however, later enabled them to diversify their interests into banking, telecommunications, and—with the purchase of Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo—viticulture. At this 18th-century estate in the Douro Valley, the family combines traditional and modern winemaking methods, including crushing grapes by foot in the granite lagares of the original winery (built in 1764) and by machine in the automated lagares at the new facility next door. Admirers of the region should sample Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo 2008 Touriga Nacional TN, an exquisitely dark and deeply perfumed table wine. Redolent of bittersweet chocolate, blackberry, and dried orange peel, this dense red reveals subtle, spicy flavors of ginger, clove, and mesquite smoke. ($75) www.quintanova.com.

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