Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Top Value (<£25) Portuguese Reds (see blue links below).
Ferreirinha Callabriga 2014 - November 2017 Decanter review
This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987. Today, they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions: Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior. The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.
The grapes were picked from different sections of the Quinta da Leda estate as well as some neighbouring vineyards. Quinta da Leda's 76 hectares of vines were planted in collaboration with the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro de Vila Real, where a study was carried out on clonal research to select the best varieties in the Douro. The findings decided the varieties to be chosen and planted on this estate, using only the best clones of each variety for grafting.
2014 was characterised by atypical weather. It was a particularly rainy year, with a cool summer, though there were heat waves recorded at the start of summer and the beginning of autumn. January was exceptionally hot but August was cooler than average. The harvested grapes had very well-balanced levels of sugar, acidity and phenolic compounds. The harvest took place at the start of September, and some rainfall was recorded in the middle of the month which made careful grape selection necessary.
The wine is made at the modern winery at Quinta da Leda. After full destemming, the grapes underwent gentle crushing before being transferred to stainless steel tanks and/or lagars (shallow, open troughs) where they underwent a long maceration to allow gentle extraction of colour, tannins and flavours from the skins. Once the fermentation was complete the wine was matured in used French and American oak (75% and 25% respectively) for between 12-18 months. The final blend is made with very careful selection after numerous tastings and analyses. The final wine is only slightly filtered before bottling.
Deep ruby in colour. The aroma is intense and very complex, with notes of black and red berries, pepper and pine needles along with attractive and well-integrated oak characters. On the palate, it has good body and acidity, high quality tannins, black fruit flavours and a hint of cocoa on the long and elegant finish.