Vintage 2017 will go down in history for the Symington family. It made its first ever ‘back-to-back’ general Vintage Port declaration since Andrew James Symington arrived in Porto in 1882 and, perhaps just as momentously, acquired Quinta da Fonte Souto. Located in Portalegre, Alentejo’s northernmost sub-region, it is the family’s first vineyard acquisition outside their beloved Douro.
Quinta Da Fonte Souto at a glance
Area: 207ha, of which 43ha under vine
Soils: Transitional granite to schist
Principal white grape varieties: Arinto, Verdelho
Principal red grape varieties: Trincadeira, Aragonês, Alfrocheiro, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon
How do they compare to other Portalegre wines? Seized upon by leading winemakers such as Rui Reguinga, Vitor Claro and Susana Esteban, small plots of Portalegre’s old field blend bush vines produce exceptionally characterful wines on an artisanal scale.
Revolving around noble varieties from this relatively large estate’s modern, block-planted, trellised vines, Quinta da Fonte Souto offers a point of difference. The wines are sleeker and more international, yet finer-framed and fresher than is common for Alentejo.
With premium but accessible price points for all bar the flagship – ‘a statement wine,’ says Dominic – they look set to win new fans for Portalegre’s elegant style.
Sarah Ahmed reviews the Quinta da Fonte Souto wines