13 Apr Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Wine & Soul Guru 2020 White Wine, Douro Valley, Portugal
Wines of Portugal hosted a walk-around tasting last week. More than 30 producers poured wines from across Portugal. Wines of Portugal brand ambassador Eugenio Jardim directed me to a table on the opposite side of the room where two women poured their wines. They were sisters Andrea Tavares and Sandra Tavares da Silva. Eugenio pointed out that Sandra was the first woman winemaker in the Douro. Of course, I had to stop and try the wines. And I am glad I did. I enjoyed each and every wine I tasted, from both her family winery Quinta de Chocapalha and her own winery Wine & Soul. Her wines have texture, structure, and elegance but one wine stood out above them all and the Wine & Soul Guru 2020 White Wine, Douro Valley, Portugal is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Sandra and Andrea’s parents bought their property in Lisbon in the 1980s. The property had vines planted and they restored them and sold them. Their three daughters, including Sandra and Andrea, grew up on the property. Sandra decided to go to school to study viticulture and ultimately studied to become a winemaker. During an internship in the Douro, Sandra met her husband, a winemaker in the Douro, and she stayed.
In 2000 Sandra started making wine from her family’s property in Lisbon under the label Quinta de Chocapalha. In 2001, she and her husband started buying grapes in the Douro for their own label Wine & Soul. They started buying old vineyards and today own 30 hectares in the Douro.
Guru is a beautifully delicate and elegant white wine. It is a blend of four indigenous white grapes: Gouveio, Rabigato, Viosinho, and Codega de Larinho. The grapes are picked and co-fermented in neutral barrels and then spend 8 months in barrel with light battonage. According to Sandra, each grape adds something different to the blend. The Viosinho provides the tropical and floral notes; the Rabigato offers the citrus notes and acidity; Codega de Larinho is neutral aromatically but rich on the palate; Gouveio adds texture.
What is captivating about this wine is that is has so many layers and continued changing in the glass. Each time I put my nose in the glass, I got new aromas. There were notes of grapefruit, apple, stone fruits, flowers, and minerality. The delicate elegance of the nose transferred to the palate where soft acidity coats the entire palate and a lovely texture lingers.
Wine & Soul Guru 2020 White Wine retails for $34 and Sandra recommends drinking it with lobster, scallops, or grilled fish.