Warre's Quinta do Retiro Antigo

Located in the famous Rio Torto Valley, Quinta do Retiro Antigo has been an integral part of Warre's greatest Vintage Ports since 1935, when the SerĂ´dio family purchased the estate and began selling the grapes to Andrew James Symington. Nearly 80 years later, the Symingtons have acquired this vineyard from the family and several of the SerĂ´dios hold key positions within Warre's and Symington Family Estates.

Located in the famous Rio Torto Valley, Quinta do Retiro Antigo has been an integral part of Warre's greatest Vintage Ports since 1935, when the Serôdio family purchased the estate and began selling the grapes to Andrew James Symington.  Nearly a century later, the Symingtons have acquired this vineyard from the family and several of the Serôdios hold key positions within Warre's and Symington Family Estates.

Terroir

The Rio Torto Valley has long been recognised as a source for some of the finest grapes in the Douro, due to its unique microclimate.  In the summer months temperatures at the base of the valley can rise as high as 40ºC in the shade which, in the near windless conditions of this narrow twisted valley, results in excellent maturity and concentrated flavours and sugars in the grapes at the time of harvest.  The Valley produces intense Ports with finesse and structure.  The soil’s main component is schist, a laminated slate-like rock.

Wine

With some of the oldest vineyards in the Douro Valley planted on some of the narrowest stone terraces ever built in the region, the Ports from this estate have all the characteristics of the great wines of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Yields are incredibly low, a direct result of the fact that 73% of the vineyard is planted on early 19th century terraces.  When young these wines have great intensity of colour showing ebony black in the centre of the glass, softening to deep red on the rim.  The nose shows the best of the famous Rio Torto wines, with violets and mint, while the flavours are concentrated and complex.  Tannins are powerful and the wines have a very good acidity that contributes to the long aging potential of the Retiro wines.

Traditionally the Retiro Ports have been made in the 5 stone lagares at the Quinta.  However, since 2007 the grapes have been vinified in the robotic lagares at Quinta da Cavadinha.  In 2010 Quinta do Retiro Antigo produced 86 pipes of must, which is equivalent to approximately 6,645 9-litre cases of Port.

Quinta and Vineyards

There is a remarkable story associated with this fine estate: In 1935 the Quinta was purchased by José Augusto Serôdio a well-respected vineyard owner.  In that same year he sold the wine from the estate to his old friend Andrew James Symington with whom he had worked since the end of the 19th century.  The friendship between the families was such that in the late 1940’s, when the Port trade was at its lowest ebb and when many family companies closed or were sold, José signed over substantial stocks of his best Ports to the Symington family with a hand shake and the words ‘pay me when things are better’.  It is rare in today’s competitive world to note such a level of trust. Many years later, three members of the Serôdio family have joined the Symingtons and work in key positions in the production of Warre’s Port.  For over 70 years the wines from this very fine property have been used to make some of Warre’s greatest Ports.  In 2006 the Symington family acquired this vineyard from the Serôdio family.

Almost three quarters of the vines are very old (50 years or more) and these are planted on narrow stone terraces that can be seen from the main road through the valley.  These are some of the most photographed vineyards in the entire Douro, as the 18th century terraces are of outstanding beauty, many planted with just one row of vines. The yields are very low, but the intensity and concentration of the wines are quite simply outstanding.  These wines have always been an important component of Warre’s Vintage Ports.

The entire property is A-rated, the highest possible quality designation.  The majority of the quinta is now planted in single variety blocks, allowing each variety to be picked and vinified separately.  All grapes are picked by hand.

 

 



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