The 2015 vintage was awarded 89 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).
Aphros Vinhao Vinho Verde Tinto is a biodynamic wine. It is made using the rare Vinhao grape which are grown in south-facing vineyards near the Lima River.
Aphros Vinhao Vinho Verde Tinto is very rich and dark in colour. It has flavours of brambles, cherries and dark forest fruits along with a prickle of spiciness. It is a versatile wine that is is equally good when chilled or served with rich stews and casseroles.
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).
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.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Top Value (<£25) Portuguese Reds (see blue link below).
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Douro Table Wines (see blue link below).
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.
About 25% of the grapes for Papa Figos come from Casa Ferreirinha's Quinta da Leda estate, and the rest from producers owning north-facing vineyards at relatively high altitudes. The soil in the Duoro Valley is made up of schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties.
The golden oriole (papa figos in Portuguese) is one of the rarest birds in the Douro region. An attractive, brightly-coloured migratory bird, its uniqueness and rarity make it the perfect inspiration for this lovely wine.
After gentle destemming and crushing, the grapes were transferred to stainless steel tanks. Intense maceration is achieved by pumping over. After maceration, the wine is run off the solids, the free-run wine is kept separate from the press wine. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged in controlled conditions. The blend was selected and remained in stainless tanks throughout the winter. 25% of the total of the blend spent eight months in used French oak barrels, and the final blend was bottled after 12 months.
Deep ruby in colour, it has an intense aroma with notes of strawberry, raspberry, plum and blueberry, along with cedar wood and a hint of chocolate from gentle oak maturation. Full-bodied, with well-balanced acidity, fine tannins, plenty of lively red fruit flavours and hints of cocoa. The finish is elegant and harmonious.
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).
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.
Deep colour of violet tonality, good concentration in the nose. Rich perfume of ripe black fruit and floral notes. On the palate it shows velvety tannins very well integrated which confer an excellent body and amazing aging capacity. This wine will match well with lamb, turkey, tournedos of beef, entrecote, and spicy food. Fantastic with cheese and chocolate desserts
A fabulous blend of the Syrah and the indigenous Touriga Nacional varietal. The Syrah providing weight, power and intensity of dark fruit and the Touriga Nacional providing elegance and finesse to the blend.
This wine has an intense garnet colour and aromas of sweet fruits and floral notes with a hint of dark chocolate. The flavour is influenced by crystallized fruits. The wine is full bodied, dense and has a complex structure with some elegance. The flavours linger for a long time on the palate.
This wine is harvested by hand and is fermented in stainless steel vats for 14 days before being aged in French Oak barrels for 12 months. This wine will continue to improve for at least 5 years after vintage.
This wine has an intense garnet colour as well as soft floral aromas with notes of violet and orange blossom. This is a young and fresh wine showing notes of plum and wild berries, some spice and it is also soft with a nice finish. Fermentation takes place in rotating stainless steel tanks. This wine is drinking well now.
The colour of this wine is deep purple. It is intense and deep on the nose, with fresh notes of wild berry fruit, elegant aromas of violets and delicate hints of cocoa. The palate has a balanced beginning, leading to a wine with great volume and a tight-knit structure consisting of round and silky tannins. Everything is in perfect harmony with fresh retronasal aromas of berry fruit. The wine has a balanced and lingering finish.
A vibrant and fresh colour, with purple hues. Intense aromas of fruits of the forest, blackberries and raspberries. A medium bodied palate which is rich in wild berry characters. The wine finishes with great length, balance and texture.
Made from grapes coming from old vines at Quinta do Crasto averaging around 70 years of age, Quinta do Crasto Reserva Old Vines is an authentic blend of the best that the Douro has to offer. It has built a solid national and international reputation.
This wine is aged 85% in French oak barrels and 15% in American oak barrels for about 16 months. The colour is deep ruby. It is very expressive on the nose, showing fresh notes of mint and berry fruit as well as delicate spicy hints. The flavours which are stylish and fresh develop into to a serious and engaging wine. Full and textured on the palate, with fresh berry fruit flavours and silky tannins. It has a balanced and lingering finish.
It is ideal to accompany hearty meat and game dishes. Since it is bottled unfiltered, some sediment may form during bottle ageing.
This very special wine is only made in outstanding vintages and incorporates several different grape varieties in the final blend. The wine has an intense, vibrant violet colour which leads to a deep, complex nose full of wild forest flowers, white pepper and soft dark chocolate aromas. It is a full bodied, richly flavoured wine with superb tannins, refreshing acidity and concentrated fruit.