Quinta de Gomariz – a rising star in Vinho Verde



Even if I in general is suspicious to all these wine competitions and awards stickered to the bottles – telling me this has won gold, silver or bronze – there’s some I can’t neglect. Curiosity is awakened when a relatively new producer on the market scores grand slam at the latest Vinho Verde Awards, bringing home 6 gold awards and 2 silver. And knowing the board had invited international wine journalists to attend do make the awards much more interesting.
Quinta de Gomariz released their first wines back in 2005 and has a short but intense construction phase to lean back on. But how is it possible to reach such an immediate success considering the five years on the market and competing with many established Vinho Verde brands? 

To start with you need an ambitious owner. That Quinta de Gomariz has in Manuel da Silva Correia de Sá. Secondly you need skilled people around you which Manuel definitely has secured there are, and third – you need really good material to work with. And yes, a bunch of gold awards must be the ultimate proof you have some pretty nice stuff in the bottles.

In a region which stands for 15% of Portugal’s wine production – a region with thousands of growers – you need to stand out if you want to make it not only on the nation’s level but also internationally. Quinta de Gomariz has found that golden path in between tradition and modernists which has resulted in extremely well defined Vinho Verde’s with great grape typicity. If you prefer the traditional Vinho Verde I assure you – tasting Gomariz won’t disappoint you. Are you one of those skeptics when it comes to the region’s wines think again and try the outstanding grapey Alvarinho! 

With its 9 sub regions Vinho Verde parades with a diversity just awaiting an international discovery of greater proportions. The fact more wine writers starts tasting and writing about the region’s wines, the regional board continues the promotional work on the international scene and ultimately – when the consumer picks up a bottle of Anselmo Mendes, Soalheiro, Quinta do Ameal, Quinta do Feital or Quinta de Gomariz – there’s no stop to the potential of quality wines booming in Vinho Verde.

Personally I’m in no doubt; this is one of the most interesting wine regions to follow in the world at the moment. Think about it; modern techniques, money and knowledge finds its way to more and more producers but still their focus lies in enhancing the quality of the local grapes, not to uproot them and start an impersonal cultivation of internationally recognized grapes. Admit it; besides Alvarinho few of the grapes grown in Vinho Verde are familiar to you. Right? Or have you tasted Amaral, Avesso, Azal, Borraçal, Espadeiro, Loureiro, Trajadura or Vinhão to mention a few? 

Quinta de Gomariz is today a 17 hectares large estate in the sub region of Vale do Ave. With vineyards on well drained and sun drenched locations the vines have all chances to reach full maturity and to show their full potential. Beyond the more recognized Alvarinho, Quinta de Gomariz also produces Loureiro, Avesso, Espadeiro, Padeiro, Trajadura and Vinhao. As winemaker the estate consults António Sousa  – a respected winemaker in Vinho Verde, consulted by many.

So, what are the wines of Quinta de Gomariz like? Below you will find notes on six wines from the latest released vintage, 2009. There are the classic Alvarinho, a Loureiro, a blend of Alvarinho and Trajadura, an extremely rare single varietal Avesso, a rosé Espadeiro and an oddity – the red Vinhão.

Tasting notes:

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Avesso 

Light yellow color. Floral aromas with orange peel, pineapple, gunpowder – a quite concentrated nose. Dry with an oily character, a touch of bitterness, quite fullbodied style with fine acidity. Long and pure finish. At the moment a bit too alcoholic but give it six months to integrate and it will be there. A new experience tasting a single varietal Avesso. Limited production though. 88 points.

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Loureiro 

Light color, almost watery. Floral nose – classic Loureiro! Oranges, gunpowder and a touch of jasmine. Restrained on the palate, high acidity and a fine dry taste. Acidity like a fine orange. Very good Loureiro and an exceptional food wine! 87 points.

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Grande Escolha Alvarinho/Trajadura 

More color to this one. A big nose almost reminiscent of a Muscat a Petit Grains, elder flower, oranges and green apples. Freaking high acidity – man I love it – with excellent concentration, jasmines, wet rocks, grape fruit and apple peel. Long. Such a fine example and it is good to see Trajadura! 89 points.

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho 

Light yellow-green color. A bit closed, slightly floral with notes of apples and pears. Close your eyes and imagine a summer rain hitting a newly paved tarmac road. There you have the Alvarinho! Zingy acidity, excellent structure and impressive concentration. Green apples, a touch of jasmine and a long mineral feel. Delicious. Further cellaring recommended though. 91 points.

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Espadeiro 

Pale color – resembling a Provence rosé. Generous aromas of wild strawberries, slightly floral, wet rocks and a little funky. Never artificial in the taste the wine shows zingy acidity, floral notes, wet rocks and wild strawberries. Low alcohol but yet very tasty. Some length. A food friendly rosé! 87 points.

2009 Quinta de Gomariz Vinhão 

Dark, impenetrable color. Wow, what a cool wine. On the nose it’s barnyardy with notes of cough medicine and sour dark cherries. Funny, although unique in style it reminds me a bit of a really good Gamay. On the palate a good mouth feel with high acidity, red berries, licorice, herbs and leather. Dry taste, fine concentration and good length. One of the better Vinhão’s I’ve tasted. Would love to have the opportunity to serve this to a fat goose later this year. If served the traditional way in Vinho Verde, you get your Vinhão in china! 89 points.

Briefly; the common denominator in Quinta de Gomariz wines is the wine’s purity and respect for every variety. Consumer’s seeking wines of unrivaled food friendliness should do what’s in their power to pick up a mixed case of Gomariz wines. Although grand slammin’ at the Vinho Verde awards the wines are still not that recognized, making them great buys. Check out the estate’s website for importers or retailers around the globe. For my European readers it is worth knowing that some of the wines can be found at El Vinjo in Germany. EUR 5,99 for the Loureiro – or EUR 7,90 for the Grande Escolha; somewhat of the steal of the year.
* All six wines were samples provided by Quinta de Gomariz.
** Some pictures are shown with the friendly permission of the estate.
*** Article in Decanter handling the Vinho Verde Awards.