"Julia Kemper Touriga Nacional, 2009", by Olly Smith, in 50 Great Portuguese wines 2012, 18 April 2013 "This classy Touriga Nacional is a complex wine to savour
with a small vortex of alluring aromatic character. herbal spice, delightfully
tight structure, it's a wine which will age beautifully and with a touch of
freshness to the finish and a well-judged 13,5% alcohol. It has a certain finesse
that I just flipping love. Gift wrap it to go and let's find the world's most
glorious view to share and cogitate with this wine."
expressive and with its tight grain vanilla bean oak, tastes reassuringly
expensive – very groomed. But there’s much else besides the vanilla – green
tomato, citrus, resin, creamy verging on oily brazil nut notes, the whole
animated by a lively thread of acidity. Very good; will benefit from a year or
so in bottle for the oak to integrate. 13.5%”
Branco 2010 Dão” 17.5 Drink 2013-2017, by Julia Harding“50% Encruzado (50% barrel
fermented in French oak), 40% Malvasia, 10% Gouveio. Organic viticulture. From
the subregion Mangualde/Azurara.
Herbal notes and bâtonnage plus a long ferment add richness of texture. Smoky
but not reduced. Powerful and intense and mineral. Very long. Amazing nose.
Very herbal. Hint of green fig. Lime, mineral. (JH) 13.5%”
“Julia Kemper, Branco 2009 Dão” 16.5 Drink
2011-2015, by Julia
Harding“50/50 Malvasia Fina and
Encruzado. Organic vineyards.
Flinty, mineral, slightly reductive struck match note. Citrus and herbal. Silky
and so fresh and stony. Doesn’t have great density but it does have real
Touriga Nacional 2009 Dão” 17 Drink 2012-2018, by Julia Harding“Vinified in granite
lagares. 12 months in French oak.
Dark, colour of elderberry juice. Highly fragrant - blind, I could imagine this
was a sweet wine. Sweet pure dark fruit, floral and a marked orange/apricot
note, opening up to earl grey tea (ie bergamot). Almost OTT. Then quite a
contrast on the palate - still has the pure dark fruit but is bone dry and
stony/mineral. Much more savoury with a light oak char. Tannins are present but
powder-fine and fresh. Intense on the palate but avoids oversweetness. Very
very long and real mineral tension on the finish. (JH) 13.5%”
“Julia Kemper 2009 Dão” 17+ Drink
2013-2019, by Julia Harding“50% Touriga Nacional, 25%
Tinta Roriz, 15% Alfrocheiro, 10% Jaen. Vinified
in granite lagares. 12 months in French oak.
Deep blackish crimson. Dark, more savour and mineral than the varietal Touriga
Nacional but still fragrant fruit. Oak more evident than on the Touriga
Nacional, savoury oak char currently dominates the finish. Dense but fine
tannins. Firm grip, dry finish. A baby that needs a good bit more time. (JH) 13.5%”
“Julia Kemper 2008 Dão” 17+ Drink
2013-2020, by Julia Harding “Touriga
Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Jaen. Organic
viticulture. French oak. Half bottle so more open.
Elderberry colour and blackish cherry rim. Fragrant dark fruit - not typically
Touriga Nacional nose, more Alfrocheiro. Hedgerow berries. Lovely silky texture
and freshness. Very taut and very young. More austere than many but has real
class and finesse even though it is still so so young. (JH) 13.5%”
“A white that’s the opposite of the one
above. It’s rich and spicy, opulent with oak, a wine that teeters on the brink
of too much but actually becomes more delicious with each sip.”
“A Tour of Portugal in 5 Wines”, by Tara
O'Leary, in http://catavino.net/5-top-portuguese-wines/,
January 4, 2013
“(...) From the Douro, we moved south to the
region of Dão and onto a red. The Julia Kemper Tinto, 2009 is a blend of 4
grapes – 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz (also known as Aragónez and
Tempranillo), 15% Alfrocheiro and 10% Jaen (or Mencía in Spain). Julia Kemper,
when not making wine, is actually a lawyer so it seemed fitting that this wine
was right at home in our court-room-like surroundings!
Even with 12 months ageing in French oak,
the woody influence was unobtrusive and the wine remarkably fresh and vibrant.
This may be due to a combination of the youth
of the vines and the moderate Dão climate. The lovely gentle fruit and floral notes
alongside the good levels of acidity made it a wine I really enjoyed, and one I’d
imagine quite similar to Julia herself, earnest and feminine.”
"Wines made from native Portuguese grapes can be well
worth seeking out Certainly, some winemakers have succumbed to the
charms of cab or chardonnay. Meanwhile wines from smaller Portuguese producers
can be hard to find – especially serious whites, for some reason. They can
often be surprisingly expensive too. But those made from native grapes can be
well worth seeking out.
Julia Kemper Tinto 2009, Dão (Planet of the Grapes, 9
New Oxford Street, WC1 £21.49) Innovative producers in Dão, the large, hilly
wine region south-west of the Douro, are now helping the area realise its
considerable potential. Made from touriga nacional, tinta roriz, alfrocheiro
and jaen, this red has lots of oak, solid structure and tannins – it really
needs a bit more time before drinking – and supple, savoury fruit. One
to keep. "
"Julia Kemper, Branco 2010 Dão", by Jancis Robinson, 24 Feb 2012
“I first came across the glamorous Julia Kemper (fetchingly pictured by weinplus.com) when in Portugal last year and it was already clear that her wines were as distinctive as she is. She makes her money as a lawyer. She presumably spends it via her revival of viticulture on the family estate, Quinta do Cruzeiro, in the granitic Dão region of northern Portugal where she has planted 15 ha of vines and cultivates them organically. Much quoted is that a distant relative entered a wine in an exhibition in Berlin in 1903 and found it hailed one of the best in show.
Her wines have impressive confidence, even though the vine age is relatively young. The blended Julia Kemper, Tinto 2008 Dão, a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro and Jaen, is admirably well integrated but still firm with the granite underpinnings shining through. I'd ideally wait a year or so before drinking this wine, which is currently on sale for just under £20 a bottle at Planet of the Grapes and the Oxford Wine Company. Here's a picture of Julia Kemper's red wine grapes being trodden in the granite lagares in her winery shown below. A varietal Julia Kemper Touriga Nacional 2009 Dão is also very accomplished, with no rough edges and already quite mellow with only 13.5% alcohol. But however winning it is now, I would prefer to let it develop a little more in bottle before drinking it if I had only one bottle. Indeed, I suggested 2014-19 as the ideal drinking period (as opposed to 2013-18 for the red blend).
But the wine that shone out at this week's generic Portuguese wine tasting which I attended, selflessly leaving the Château Margaux tasting to Richard, was the white Julia Kemper, Branco 2010 Dão. It's a blend of equal parts of the top-quality Encruzado and Malvasia Fina grapes that are characteristic of Dão and a little Verdelho. Some of it was barrel fermented and this is clearly a wine of substance and potential. I loved its hint of leafiness, it very firm structure, its smoky but not exaggerated pungency and its real weight in the mouth. It tastes as though it just avoids being oily and heavy but is an admirably interesting and satisfying mouthful. I thought it would drink well over the next three years - preferably wth some quite assertive food. This is the sort of wine that would very happily stand in for a white burgundy. As you can see from Julia's tasting notes on Portugal Top 50 2011, her immediate foretaster as Portuguese Wine Journalist of the Year Tom Cannavan identified the 2009 vintage of this exciting wine as one of his top 50 and Julia liked it as much as I like this 2010 version - to the extent of giving it 17 points out of 20 for what that is worth. You can also read what Portuguese wine enthusiast Sarah Ahmed has to say about Julia Kemper at www.thewinedetective.co.uk. The winery at Quinta do Cruzeiro is shown above.
The following are all the vital stastistics published on Julia Kemper's website about this wine: Harvest evaluation: The wine year provided the production of excellent grapes, with no record of disease given the favourable climate during the year. The cool nights allowed for a harvest of healthy grapes, ripened by a great amount of sunlight and water availability throughout the year, giving the wine a concentrated and fruity flavour. In addition to the particular terroir prepared for the varieties planted, the climate and the careful harvesting and selection of grapes produced high quality wines with unique aromas and flavours. Name of the farm: Quinta do Cruzeiro Location of the winery: Quinta do Cruzeiro, Mangualde Total number of wine producing hectares: 15 Foundation of the winery: Mid-19th century Owner of the winery: Júlia de Melo Kemper and CESCE Agrícola, SA Wine makers: Júlia de Melo Kemper and Vines & Wines [consultants who helped her develop the vineyards too] Demarcated region: Dão (Portugal) Classification: VQPRD (Vinho de Qualidade Produzido em Região Demarcada) Dão Grape composition: 50% Malvasia Fina, 50% Encruzado Type of fermentation: Temperature controlled in stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels Analytical parameters: Alcohol (%): 13.5 Residual sugar (g/l): 1.7 Total acidity (g/l): 5.6 Volatile acidity (g/l): 0.45 Dry extract total (g/l): 20.1 SO2 free (mg/l): 35 SO2 total (mg/l): 138 pH: 3.28 Available in bottles of: 0,375 l, 0,75 l and 1,5 l Quantity of produced bottles: 0,375 l – 500 0,75 l - 6,312 1,5 l - 150 Age of the vines: 7/8 Years Training system: Royat and Guyot Plant density (plants per hectare): 4,000 Type of soil: Granitic origin Liters per hectare: 4,000l Orientation of the vineyard: Half-hillside Height above sea level: 450 m Harvesting method: By hand into small harvest baskets Harvest time (month): September Climate: Mediterranean Rainfall per year in mm: 1,100 mm average Stabilization: Bentonite Filtration: Lenticular Irrigation: Drip irrigation Characteristics: Lemony-coloured wine with a wonderful bouquet of white pulp fruit with seeds, passion fruit and orange blossom. The in mouth' sensation is fresh, long and well balanced. Aging before sale: In stainless steel tanks: 3 months
In bottle: 2 months Recommended drink temperature: 10ºC - 12ºC Storage potential: 4 to 5 years The wine is relatively easy to find in Portugal but is also distributed in Belgium and Germany - where prices vary between €13.50 and €16.95 a bottle. Julia Kemper wines have been imported into the UK by Alliance Wines of Scotland since late last year and I am assured that this white wine is already a firm favourite with the Alliance staff. It is available at £17.99 from the following stockists: the Oxford Wine Company (Witney), Planet of the Grapes (London WC1) and The Vineking (Horley). Corking Wines of Yorkshire sell it but only by the dozen bottles at £179.88.”
“Cesce, Julia Kemper Touriga Nacional, DOC Dao 2008…, from Wicklow Wine Company, Wicklow town; wicklowwineco.le (91)”, in The Sunday Business Post, November 6 2011
"This is the kind of dazzling wine that deonstrates why a good importeris stil key to fine wine in Ireland. Wine producer Julia de Melo Kemper has made a luscious and complex Touriga Nacional-driven blend. Hefty daubs of ripe blackberry-like juiciness hits you at the lip of glass and, as you dip into the wine itself, touches of caramel, toffe, earth, plum and leather follow.
The tannins are firm, grippy but polished, and there is no sting: just a reminder that this is, after all, a wine from a warm, sun-drenched sothern climate. The finish is lingering, supple and multi-layered. "
"Today was one of the most eagerly awaited tastings in the calendar (for me, at least) – the 50 Great Portuguese Wines tasting.
Portugal is such an interesting wine country, that the tasting attracts a good crowd.
This year the selection was made by Tom Cannavan. Tom did a very good job, with lots of really good wines. Selections like this are quite personal, of course – for example, some of the whites weren’t really my thing, and a couple of the Alentejo reds were so-so. Yet I came away, once again, enthused by the diverse and delicious wines that Portugal is making at the moment.
It seems invidious to pick out favourites from such a strong crowd. But I really enjoyed Julia Kemper’s wonderful Dao white, which has just a twist of nice reduction. I also liked the biodynamic Casa de Mouraz Dao white: Sara Dionisio who makes it with Joao Roseira, whose Infantado Reserva 2008 Douro was one of the top reds on show. (…)"
Sarahwine Sarah Ahmed, in Twitter, May 19 2011
"In cask still but Julia Kemper's new Touriga Nacional 2010 from Dao looking v promising indeed; gr8 structure/freshness."
"Last month, I made another exciting new Dão discovery – the wines of Julia Kemper, from Quinta do Cruzeiro.
Júlia de Melo Kemper, a Lisbon lawyer, told me that the quinta has been owned by her family for some 400 years. She acquired it after her father asked her to manage the farm in 2003. Motivated by vivid childhood memories of time at the farm with other members of her large family (11 uncles and aunts and over 50 cousins), she says she feels a strong sense of connection with the land.
Though it had always produced wine for private consumption, Kemper set out to make it a going concern, spurred on by the knowledge that one of her relatives, Carlos Lucena Ferreira de Almeida de Mello Cabral, had entered his red wine in a Berlin exhibition in 1903 where it was declared among the best.
Vines & Wines, who work with many of Beira’s leading small estates, helped her plant 15ha of vines, matching grape variety and rootstock to the farm’s different soil types and micro-climates. The French organic specialist Daniel Noel and his team defined the correct organic strategy and, she says, “a near-perfect eco-system with a bio-diversity that complements itself, ultimately leading to reduced diseases on the vines” has been created, complete with a waste water treatment unit to prevent pollution. The estate is certified organic.
Though she admits it’s not easy juggling the demands of a law practice and making wine she says “a walk through my vineyards when the sun is shining compensates for the efforts it takes to simultaneously run a farm and a law office.” And during harvest, Kemper manages to take off enough time to be present during vinification. She makes the wines in consultancy with Vines & Wines in the original 1950s winery, which has also been restored. Today, granite lagares in which the red is foot trodden, have been augmented by stainless steel vats. Like Kemper, the wines are elegant, yet expressive, with understated oak, lovely fruit purity and balance.
Julia Kemper Branco 2009 (Dão)
A typically Dão hint of vegetality to the nose doesn’t prepare you for this 50:50 Malvasia Fina and Encruzado blend’s ripe, round and juicy honeyed tropical and stone fruits. Very pure, present and fluid, the fruit is expansive without being imposing, with no hard edges of oak or alcohol to detract from its delicacy – just a soft kiss of oak from barrel fermentation. But it’s no push over either. On day 2, I finished off the bottle and it tasted just as good and made a perfect companion for roasted green peppers stuffed with chilli oil licked cous cous with spinach, fresh tomato and chopped hazelnuts, topped with local sheep’s cheese, Serra d’Estrela – magnifique! 13.5%
Julia Kemper Tinto 2008 (Dão)
This blend of 60% Touriga Nacional 15% Tinta Roriz 15% Alfrocheiro 10% Jaen puts me in mind of Loire Cabernet Franc with its bright, fresh nose and palate and mineral-sluiced acidity. In the mouth its supple and juicy plum and blackberry fruit is subtly edged with cinnamon and supported by ripe but present tannins. Though aged for 12 months in French oak, it wears the oak very lightly. Just lovely – a super digestible, elegant wine to savour on its own or with food. 13.5%"
“Julia Kemper: a great organic producer on its way to Brazil ”, by Bruno Agostini, in http://oglobo.globo.com/blogs/enoteca/posts/2011/03/18/julia-kemper-otimoprodutor-organico-caminho-do-brasil-369565.asp, March 18 2011
"I was chatting with Pedro Pinto, an oenologist from Dão Sul who is responsible for the company’s olive oil production, a great enthusiast not only of wine but also of Portuguese gastronomy and rural tradition, when we rested our glasses on the table. As I reached for my glass again, I realized that I had taken the wrong one: it was an explosion of aromas, of pure elegance. I knew that it was not my wine. I had discovered Julia Kemper, a new Dão producer. I discarded the rest of my wine and then proceeded to enjoy that beauty. When I was taking a photograph of the bottle, I was approached by a very elegant lady. It was Julia Kemper herself. She has stricking similarity to the wine.
- I make wine in the most natural way possible, with manual harvest, treading, without chemical products. This is an assemblage of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz and Jaen. We developed a balanced ecosystem: we have all the parasites but they do not harm the vineyard because there is a natural balance between them. We started the project in 2003 when we called in French consultants. We replanted the whole vineyard. The farm has been in my family for 400 years and the wine cellar is one hundred years old – she says. She produces a total of four wines: ordinary white, reserve white and a varietal Touriga Nacional red.
It is an outstanding wine which carries Dão’s characteristics: concentrated and elegant, with a delicious acidity and evident floral aromas, in addition to dark berry and cinnamon notes and an incredible texture. If properly kept in a bottle, it will certainly have a long period of exuberance. I also tasted the white during dinner and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some people at the table found the wine too woody. Not my case. Made from Encruzado and Malvasia Fina, it has floral and white fruit notes such as leeches and melon, a fresh wine with wooden notes of vanilla, somewhat toasty.
Curious? No problem. The wines will be in Brazil very soon. He did not know which company is negotiating the import of the wines(…)"
“Take a mix of native Portuguese grapes - all replanted only a few years ago on Júlia de Melo Kemper's inherited estate - add some state-of-the-art drip feed irrigation, rebuild a collapsed 1950's winery with modern stainless steel and expensive pressing equipment and, produce after a little aging, two of the most beautiful wines I've ever drunk.
The upper terrace is where the modern action is concentrated with extensive irrigation supporting new plantings of Jaen, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Aragonez) and the intriguing Alfrucherio. We are deep in the wilds of the Dao one of Portugal's under-rated regions. Across the estate there lie dilapidated buildings once homes and store rooms geared towards wine production. Now I envision holiday let potential. Who could resist spending a few nights surrounded by the wildness of this beautiful landscape? I wonder if the estate has considered such an idea.
One large building, home to stone legares and concrete vats, has been restored. The vats cleaned, lined, graced with stainless steel and made smaller, to handle a reduced but higher quality grape harvest, lie under an expensive press and temperature control apparatus. The room and equipment have a sheen of newness.
For an estate so new, we marvel at the quality of the latest vintages, only the third I believe under the reinvigorated management. The vines are young, the fruit pushed into just two bottlings - Julia Kemper Tinto and Julia Kemper Branco. Future harvests, as the vines mature, should be stunning. Mirroring the elegant demeanour of the owner, Julia Kemper herself, the red especially oozes style and sophistication.
An edge of wild herb and gravelly texture graces both wines; elements one fancies that are lifted direct from the dramatic, lightly tamed, landscape. At the same time though Julia Kemper has managed to layer that Dao wildness with a sheen of elegance. Wine always tastes better when savoured in the winery overlooking the vines and savouring the landscape, which we did even in the gathering dark.
Later we revel in the wines perfect food-matching qualities with a meal at the Casa da Insua restaurant. The Julia Kemper Branco 2009 [Adegga / Snooth] a 50/50 blend of Malvasia Fina and Encruzado is superb with the local speciality of octopus. Lightly fragrant, balanced and elegant the texture and weight make for superb food matching experiments.
The Julia Kemper Tinto 2009, [Adegga / Snooth], is beautifully intense and structured, made mainly with Touriga Nacional plus 15% Tinta Roriz, 15% Alfrucheiro and 10% Jaen. I was revelling in the lush cherry and black fruit medley enlivened with a hint of cinnamon and wild herbs while the fellow diners delved into the roast kid course. (…)"
Color : Straw
Sweetness : Half-Dry
Body : Medium
Acidity : Fresh
Tannins : Soft
Fruit : Medium
Alcohol : Medium
Nose : Tropical Fruit
From a small producer from the Dão region comes a balanced, harmonious and delightful white. Bouquet filled with flowery notes, backed up by some green apples and later sweeter fruit paves the way for a taste somehow marked by the presence of oak, but beautifully supported by a fresh and mineral backbone.
A dry wine, it has a lemony finish and a really long aftertaste. Really well made and well worth tracking down due to its low price tag (around 8 to 9€ in Portugal).”
"Julia Kemper’s Dão", by José António Salvador, in Revista Visão, September 21 2011
"Julia Kemper is a lawyer by trade but, with the technical support of the company headed by Dirk Niepoort, she decided to recover the family vineyards of Quinta do Cruzeiro in Mangualde, at the centre of Dão wine region. Environmental concerns dictated the choice of an organic viticulture and the adoption of quality grape varieties. Her wines have now reached the market and deserve special attention:
Julia Kemper Dão 2008 ****/*****
One of the best white wines from Dão due to its originality and character. Made from two grape varieties, the Encruzado, a noble variety from Dão which is partially fermented in casks and the Malvasia Fina, vinified at low temperature in stainless steel vats. The wine reveals great harmony, with floral and lime aromas which give your mouth an intense and prolonged freshness.
Julia Kemper Dão 2008 ****
This red still needs the bottle in order to mature and probably reach exceptionality. Concentrated without losing its elegance and structured like the great reds from Dão, it can be enjoyed from now.
With this good news about Dão, by way of public service and in a time of crisis, I remind the reader that supermarkets have started their wine fairs.”