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The Yeatman Wine Tasting
Terry Sullivan

The Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingSummary: The Yeatman is a hotel that caters to wine lovers from around the world. One of the many wine experiences is a wine tasting in the hotel’s wine room on the fourth floor.

During our stay at The Yeatman, we interviewed Richard Bowden, Marketing Director at The Yeatman and Beatriz Machado, wine director for The Fladgate Partnership. During the interview, we learned that The Yeatman is part of the Fladgate Partnership as is the Vintage House, a hotel in Pinhão in the Douro Valley. Taylor Fladgate is a port house next to the hotel property. The Yeatman family is one of the four families associated with the port producer. Yeatman created the first dry white port. The hotel was called The Yeatman in honor of the family. Richard Bowden said, “The hotel is a landmark of quality of hospitality and wine.”

The hotel has 83 rooms with plans to add another 26 rooms. Each of the current 83 rooms is sponsored by a Portuguese winery. Individual rooms are named after the winery sponsoring it.

Wine Tasting

The Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingDuring our talk, we learned that Beatriz Machado earned her MS degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis. Her wealth of wine knowledge, especially Portuguese wine is impressive. Beatriz invited us to a wine tasting in the hotel’s wine room. She selected the wines to taste based on our conversation. One of the hotel's sommeliers conducted the tasting.

The Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingThe wine tasting room was on the fourth floor. Some of the walls are covered with schist reminding one of the terraced hillsides in the Douro Valley. Arches in the walls highlight wine bottles. The room has a professional tasting table. Stools are made of cork and are comfortable for a couple of hours. Our tasting included an assortment of cheeses, meats and nuts. There was a bread basket with a variety of breads and rolls as well as a dessert tray with different sweets.

Our tasting began with a 2015 Branco Arinto Barrica, Bairrada DOC. This yellow colored wine was made entirely from Arinto grapes. The 11.5% alcohol wine was fermented in barrels with a bit of skin contact, then aged on the lees. The aroma reminded me of peach, lemon and freshly baked bread. The taste included peach, citrus and mineral. The finish was crisp. I paired this wine with cheese.

The Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingThe 2015 Nossa Calcário Bical was also from the Bairrada DOC. The wine, produced with the white Bical grape, was fermented in stainless steel and had some oak aging for six months. The wine had a yellow color and 12% alcohol. The aroma was reminscent of smoke, mineral and grapefruit. The taste offered peach, grapefruit and caramel. The finish was crisp. This wine was also paired with cheese.

The 2012 Quinta Da Romaneira Douro Reserva, Douro DOC was a blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. The wine had 13.5% alcohol and an opaque purple color with a ruby hue. The wine was aged for 18 months in oak. The aroma included cassis, cherry and blueberry. The taste offered cassis, cherries, blueberries and baking spices. The wine had a medium/full body with medium tannins. The finish was fruity. This wine was paired with the meats.

The 2013 Batuta, Douro DOC was crafted from a red field blend. The wine spent 22 months aging in oak. The 13% alcohol wine had an opaque dark ruby color with a violet hue. The aroma included black fruits, spices and flowers. The taste offered blackberries, baking spices and violets. The wine had a full body with medium/bold tannins. The finish integrated the fruit, flower and spices. This wine was paired with the meats and walnuts.

Our fifth wine had a front label that was white with a typed word Abandonado. It refers to a vineyard that was left abandoned in part because there were more rocks than vines. The 2013 wine by Domingos Alves de Sousa, Douro DOC was an opaque ruby color with a sienna hue. The wine had 14.5% alcohol.There was some alcohol on the aroma along with cassis and blackberry. The taste included baking spices, leather, cassis and blackberry. The wine had a full body and bold tannins. This wine was also paired with meats.

The Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingThe Yeatman Hotel Wine TastingOur final tasting was a 1976 Blandy’s Terrantez Madeira. The wine was made from an almost lost varietal grape known as Terrantez. The light brown to gold colored wine had 20% alcohol and was aged in American oak for 21 years. The wine had dried fruits on the aroma while the taste was reminiscent of dates and caramel. The finish was crisp and the wine had an aftertaste that lasted for several minutes. The wine was paired with cheese and the desserts.

Wine Events at The Yeatman

The hotel has a wine dinner on Thursdays. A producer will bring four or five wines and the chef will pair those with his creations. On the last Thursday of July, August and September the hotel holds Sunset Wine Parties. Twenty-five producers bring two wines each. About 800 people attend the event. During the first weekend of December there is a Christmas Wine Event. It involves a more formal tasting and attendees often purchase wines for their Christmas gift giving. Producers present two wines each.

The Yeatman hotel can offer wine lovers over 1,000 different wines, 97% of which are from Portugal while 3% are international. The hotel has 240 different ports.

Beatriz created a Wine Journal. The ninth issue focused on 83 wines that can be purchased and tasted by the glass. The number 83 corresponds to the number of rooms in the hotel. The Wine Journal divides wines into certain categories such as: the Groundbreakers, the Iconic, the Terroir Wines, the Trendy and the New Generation.

If you are a wine enthusiast, spend some time at The Yeatman and experience a wine tasting or wine event.

Related article: The Yeatman

The Yeatman
Rua do Choupelo, 4400-088
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal


Article written April 2018.


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