Passagem/Quinta de la Rosa

Port was not what drew us to Portugal, but it was hard to resist the offerings from this singular estate. Whether as one of the first wineries to make table wines in the Douro or one of the very few to use A level (top quality) grapes throughout their port range, they are always ahead of the curve here, and owner Sophia Bergqvist deserves much of the credit. Since hiring Jorge Moreira, Portugal’s “Winemaker of the Year” in 2010, they have gone from strength to strength in both table and fortified wines.

These wines are a collaboration between the Berqvist family of Quinta de la Rosa and their genius winemaker, Jorge Moreira. A few years ago, they bought the Quinta das Bandeiras, an estate in the Upper Conga Valley, quite remote from their familiar locus in Pinhão. They are convinced that, once their new plantings have developed deep-enough roots, they will produce wines of equal quality but strikingly different character to the La Rosa wines.

PPA-DRRXX Passagem red

Available Wines

Passagem 2011 Vintage Port (6×750)

A deliciously approachable rendition of this great classic drink in a style that is lighter than often but lacking nothing in authentic flavour and richness. The reasonableness of the price makes this an attractive by-the-glass proposition.

Passagem 2012 Douro Reserve Red

The warmth of the Upper Douro was tamed by the relatively restrained 2012 vintage, so while we have excellent color here, and lovely cocoa notes from the French oak, there is also an invigorating fresh snap to this lush wine. We feel it’s a harbinger of great things to come from the area.

Passagem 2012 Douro White

(40% Gouveio, 30% Viosinho, 30% Rabigato) Poised, sappy and stony wine in the tradition of the popular DouRosa white. Faintly resinous flavour with lip-smacking acidity and unexpected length on the palate.

Passagem 2012 Late-bottled Vintage Port [6/500]

The genius of this style of port is that it strikes a perfect balance between the added structure of vintage wine and the supple texture gained from extended barrel-aging. Especially delicious in 2012.

Passagem 2015 Douro Red

Made from a kitchen sink of traditional port varieties, this sumptuously-coloured red brings off the difficult feat of offering the Douro’s inherent power in a gently fruity style that is nonetheless true to its roots.

Passagem N.V. 10 year-old Tawny Port [6/500]

Many a port-fancier swears by aged tawny as being the finest example of the genre. This seductively classy wine bears out such a contention, with its subtle brandied raisin aroma and its integrated, not-too-sweet palate.

Passagem N.V. Ruby Reserve Port [6/500]

It is hard to conceive of a more sheerly joyous and delicious “basic” port than this. We could not resist it, especially in the fetching squat 500 ml. bottle that we have selected for the Passágem ports.

Passagem N.V. Tawny Port [6/500]

This is the producer’s “five year old” style, aged in smaller barrels than the ruby for faster evolution. Even so, it is ruddier in hue than the name would suggest. This is vivid, authentic tawny port.

Quinta de la Rosa 2010 DouRosa White (Douro)

(40% Gouveio, 30% Viosinho, 30% Rabigato) Perhaps these three varieties served as the mother ship for Viognier, because the flowery, honied fruit here resembles that grape right now all the way to the slightly amaro apricot pit finish. A flowery, generous wine with surprising minerality and complexity for its price.

Quinta de la Rosa 2011 DouRosa White (Douro)

(40% Gouveio, 30% Viosinho, 30% Rabigato) Perhaps these three varieties served as the mother ship for Viognier, because the flowery, honied fruit here resembles that grape right now all the way to the slightly amaro apricot pit finish. A flowery, generous wine with surprising minerality and complexity for its price.

Quinta de la Rosa 2011 Estate White (Douro)

(35% Viosinho, 35% Rabigato and others) This is a triumphant tribute to the painstaking care taken by Jorge to harvest ripe and healthy grapes in a very difficult vintage. Tense and firm, with a subtle amalgam of flowery sweetness and salty minerality, the whole is bound by the artful use of 50% barrique-aging, that you only know about because we mention it. Brilliant wine.