Southern Portugal’s Finest Wines, Part 10

Quinta do Morgado da Torre

  • Arinto

One mishit on the course of the Penina Golf & Resort Le Mérien, designed by Sir Henry Cotton, and the ball could land between the vines of Quinta do Morgado da Torre. And if the golfer should make the effort to go and search for the ball, he would find one of the oldest and most renowned vineyards in the Algarve. The estate has been in the hands of the Mendes family since 1865 and present owner João Mendes is the first to have switched from traditional citrus and grape production (for the Cooperativa Portimão closed in 1998) to the production of fine quality wines. With the support of oenologists João Melicias and Jorge Páscoa his 164-acre Adega has been successfully producing fine wines since 1999. The innovative winegrower likes to experiment with old and new grape varieties.

  • Quinta do Morgado da Torre

His vision is the creation of "light, white wines with powerful bouquets" for the national and international market, in order to extend the considerable scope of his hitherto existing wine range. And that is rather impressive. When it came to tasting, the Tapada da Torre Viognier 2011, a full-bodied white wine (14% alcohol) bursting with aromas of quince and apricot and with plenty of volume on the palate, went down particularly well. A clear, clean wine with a light, invigorating acidity and lasting zest. One of Senhor Mendes’ best sellers is the Alvor Rosé 2011, a cuvée from a blend of Touriga-Nacional, Negra-Mole and Syrah grapes. The wine stands out for its dark, intensely glowing shade of pink, strawberry and wild flower aromas, and boasts a strong fruity flavour, a fine pleasant acidity and a long finish. Serving temperature: 9°C. The Alvor Reserva 2009 packs a powerful punch, having been cask aged for 12 months, and thus features the respective roasted notes, vanilla and cloves.

This fine wine smoothly nestles in the tongue and palate, and requires decanting. On a general note the Tapada wines should only be served on special occasions - they are too unique to be simply downed on a whim. The Alcalar Premium 2010, made from Touriga-Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes is also special: Grapes are ‘foot-crushed’ immediately after being picked before being macerated and stored under controlled temperatures. Anyone with a sweet tooth should love the Tapada da Torre 2008 Reserva Vinho Licoroso, which almost reaches Tawny Port quality in taste and alcohol content.

  • amphora
  • Winery & shop


Quinta do Morgado da Torre

Sitio da Penina, Alvor, 8500-336 Portimão

Tel. 282 476 866 , qmt@sapo.pt

Opening hours: Mon - Fri 10 am -12.30 pm & 2 - 5 pm

This article was first published in Algarve Vida 08.12, page 18