2014 Quinta do Pinto, Estate Collection Red
2014 Quinta do Pinto, Estate Collection Red

2014 Quinta do Pinto, Estate Collection Red

Lisboa, Portugal 2014 (750mL)
Regular price$29.00

2014 Quinta do Pinto, Estate Collection Red

 A frequent debate around the SommSelect tasting table focuses on where the best values in old-world wine are being made today. Is it Greece? Eastern Europe? The perennial contender Bordeaux? Then I saw a bottle of 2014 Quinta do Pinto hit the table–a ten year old blend that was spicy, deeply complex, robust, and yet perfectly balanced. Oh, and the price was less than $30. The debate, at least for now, is over: the clear winner is Portugal. How the Pinto family manages to get so much profundity into a bottle, age it themselves for years, and then charge so little is a perplexing, yet delicious, puzzle to solve. But don’t sweat the solution, just make sure you grab as much as you can before it’s gone!

A manor from the 1600s surrounded by rolling, vine-covered hills—that’s a quintessential Portuguese estate, and in the Alenquer DOC, Quinta do Pinto is one of the standouts. This small appellation is located in the broader Lisboa wine zone, an area that is frequently undervalued and overlooked today as the city itself dominates the landscape. But that wasn’t always the case. According to legend, wines produced here in the 1800s were treated as the ultimate in luxury, at one point outweighing the “pintos,” the gold coin of that era. What’s more, the overseer of the Quinta at that time was a Mr. Pinto, so the property came to be locally known as “the Pinto.” Today, yet another Pinto family—of no relation to the former—diligently runs the estate.  

They, too, are steeped in agricultural and viticultural knowledge—five generations of it. As such, they farm their vines sustainably and generally eschew intense, hands-on, technical winemaking, preferring old-school methods to modern intervention. The wine is all the better for it: the five grape varieties are all hand-sorted at the cellar door, destemmed, and pressed into vats. After three days of natural, let-gravity-do-the-work settling, the juice ferments on indigenous yeasts in concrete vessels, after which the Syrah, Tempranillo (aka Aragonez in this part of Portugal), and Cabernet Sauvignon are racked into once and twice used French oak barriques to age, while the Touriga Nacional and Tinta Miùda are kept in the concrete tanks before everything is blended together and bottled with a minimal filtration.

Given the Syrah and Cabernet, and the aging in barrique, you might expect this wine to be a dead ringer for very old school Bordeaux (yes, for much of its history Bordeaux would import Syrah from the Rhône to add color and body) but it is a testament to the Pinto clan that these assertive varieties blend perfectly with the Portuguese ones, creating a wine that you might consider “Bordeaux adjacent,” but is really an excellent snapshot of this distinct terroir. That said, do serve this wine in a nice Bordeaux stem, after a gentle decant, at around 60 degrees for an optimal experience. The deep garnet hue has just a touch of bricking at the rim, and the aromatics still lead with ripe fruits like black currant, Damson plum, and spiced cherry. But the bottle age is also apparent underneath, showing lots of cedar, baking spice, dried herbs, smoked meat, and a core of iron flecked minerality. The medium-full body and soft, sweet tannins make it a perfect pairing for braised meats, and if you want to go traditional I suggest a classic “Chanfana” or lamb stew. Whatever you cook up, this is a wine that will continue to way over deliver for the next five plus years.

2014 Quinta do Pinto, Estate Collection Red

Daily Discovery

Build a Case is a one-of-a-kind subscription service that allows you the freedom to explore our expansive wine selection and consolidate your orders into a custom case over time — without the cost of shipping.
View all