The family heritage and the reputation gathered in one of the most important Vinho do Porto wineries have encouraged Rui Soares to create his own brand, dedicated to the exploitation of old vineyards and the production of high quality Douro wines with a registered designation of origin. A decade and a half later his Mimo and Esmero wines, that seem to have existed since the dawn of times, are charming the wine lovers.
In the sub region of Baixo Corgo in the Upper Douro vineyards, three parcels with a total of six hectares coexist on traditional terraces exposed to the western sun. The soils are schistose and transitional for granite and host old vineyards with very old vines.
Among the red there are Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira, complemented by rare vine varieties like Malvasia Preta, Tinta da Barca and Rufete. Among the whites, in the granitic area, the Viosinho, Gouveio and Fernão Pires stand out.
This was the place chosen by Rui Soares to venture in the production of his own high quality Douro table wine brands. It was not a reckless bet. The winemaking tradition is a family heritage that goes back to his grandfather Fernando that planted many vines there. His career as senior executive in the Real Companhia Velha, an historical Porto wine producer, has provided Rui Soares the experience to turn his passion into a triumphant enterprise.
In 2002 the name of the wine was chosen: Esmero. It is a synonym of refinement and sophistication. Homage to the best there is in the Douro region. The first harvest, on the same year, was duly recognized.
Produced from an almost centenary vineyard, with blended vine varieties, Esmero Tinto is made in traditional winepresses, and ages for 18 months in French oak barrels. João Paulo Martins, the great wine critic, gives the most recent 2012 harvest 16,5 points, praising the “good color concentration”, “the vigorous aroma” of “ripe fruits”, “chemical hints and dark chocolate” with “a varnish touch”, recommended to go with very flavored dishes.
The 2014 Esmero Branco, result of a 30 year old transitional soil vineyard, is composed by a blend of Viosinho, Gouveio and other vine varieties of the terroir. The critic highlights the aroma of “green, citrus, lemon tree leaf hints, all very well and elegantly dosed”. It is, he points out, “a fine white, very fresh, very summery”.
The success of the brand Esmero has given confidence to the producer to idealize other wines. Thus, then came Mimo, white or red, with different blends from the Esmero, made from grapes harvested at a superior altitude. They are aromatic wines, with a younger profile (despite coming from 30 to 50 year old vineyards), that offer very elegant yet relaxed tastings. They have been cherished by the critic and have reached high classifications.
By valuing the old vineyards and the formation of unusual plots, balanced by careful winemaking, Rui Soares has been lending new and interesting expressions to the Douro table wines. Making wine, in his expert hands, is like joining Nature and History in a sensitive alchemy that pays homage to the extraordinary legacy of the region.