Casa Ferreirinha, Vinha Grande Douro Tinto 2016 (1x 75cl)
Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Top Value (<£25) Portuguese Reds (see blue link below).
Ferrierinha Vinha Grande 2015 - November 2017 Decanter review
This producer, founded in 1952, is named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira. Affectionately nicknamed 'Ferreirinha' by her countrymen, the house pays homage to her memory and was the first house in the region dedicated to making light wines. It has 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 Luis Sottomayor, who restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Esteva and Papa Figos, allied to a lovely depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Tinto and Quinta da Leda.
The selected grape varieties were sourced from the Quinta do Sairrão estate located at a high altitude in the Cima Corgo region. The mountainous vineyards here have schist soils with vines planted either in vertical rows or on traditional "patamares" (terraces). The selected plots are ideal for optimal maturation thanks to the hot days and cool evenings bringing out the fresh fruit character of the grapes.
The 2015 season was dry throughout most of the growing cycle, with March registering around 50% less rain than the regional average. Temperatures between April and May were higher than normal, and three heatwaves were recorded in June and July, with temperatures above 40°C. This heat caused key growing stages to be reached several weeks earlier than usual. The negative effects of heat were mitigated by rainfall in September, which helped vines to recover and fruit to mature evenly. The harvest began in the first week of September, with fruit showing good acidity levels, and a balance of phenolic and fruit ripeness.
Grapes selected for the Vinha Grande Tinto went through gentle crushing and destemming prior to fermentation at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks. Long skin contact during fermentation ensured optimal extraction, which was facilitated by pumping over and robotic plunging. Maturation took place for a period ranging between 12 and 18 months in used French oak barrels. The blend was then selected based on both sensory and technical analyses. The wine went through only one light filtration before bottling. In addition, the wine did not undergo cold stabilisation, which may mean it will have natural sediment in the bottle.
Deep ruby colour and the aroma is intense and complex, with floral and violet notes, together with red fruits such as strawberry and raspberry, a touch of black pepper and very well integrated oak. On the palate, it has good volume, well integrated acidity, velvety tannins with notes of red fruits, and a delicate minerality. Its finish is elegant and persistent.
Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz
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