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Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

Winter was particularly dry and mild. Strong and persistent rainfall from the end of winter continued into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to abnormal incidences of vine disease, especially mildew, and also affected flowering in lower-level zones. The high rainfall resulted in a reduction in the quantity of grapes. Summer was mild, with some spikes in temperature, and nights were generally cold. These conditions contributed to a long and balanced maturation, which, in turn, produced wines of superior quality.

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.

£17.40

Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Douro Tinto 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points, Gold and overall Trophy status (Portuguese Red Trophy and Great Value Red between £8 and £12) at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Papa Figos 2017 - IWC 2019 award and 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.

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.

£10.90

Casa Ferreirinha, Vinha Grande Douro Tinto 2016 (1x 75cl)

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. Purchased by Sogrape in 1987, 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 Luís 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 2016 vintage had a generally dry, mild winter before continuous rain began at the end of winter and extended into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to disease pressure requiring work in the vineyard to combat mildew. Summer was mild with occasional heatwaves and generally cold nights. This long and balanced end to maturation helping to produce wines of superior quality.

Grapes selected for the Vinha Grande Tinto went through gentle crushing and destemming prior to temperature controlled fermentation 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 between 12 and 18 months in used French oak barrels. The blend was then selected based on both sensory and technical analyses. The wine was then lightly filtered before bottling. In addition, the wine did not undergo cold stabilisation, which may mean it will have natural sediment in the bottle.

This wine has a deep ruby colour and intense aromas of flowers, strawberry and raspberry fruit, a touch of black pepper and well-integrated oak. The voluminous palate has well-integrated acidity, velvety tannins, a delicate minerality and notes of red berries. The finish is elegant and long.

£12.90

CH by Chocapalha 2013 (1x 75cl)

It all started in 1987 for Quinta da Chocapalha when Alice and Paulo Tavares da Silva were looking for a property that would become their family project and where they could make great quality wine. At Quinta da Chocapalha, every member of the family is part of creating the spirit of this project. Chocapalha wines reflect the family’s passion and commitment, the property’s terroir, as well as painstaking attention to detail in their agricultural work and winemaking options. Their wines have great elegance and ageing potential.

To see the winemakers tasting notes for this wine please click on the blue link below.

CH by Chocapalha 2013 - fiche technique

£34.80

Macanita Tinto 2017 (1x 75cl)

We also strongly recommend the Macanita white/Branco.

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Douro value reds (see blue link below).

Macanita Tinto 2017 - July 2019 Decanter review

Antonio Maçanita is one of the most dynamic, brilliant young winemakers in Portugal, crafting wines everywhere from the Azores archipelago to Alentejo. In the Douro, this brother and sister team - with sister Joana - has managed to pool their considerable winemaking talent to showcase the breadth of terroir in the oldest classified European appellation. Sourcing from sites spread across the 3 subzones of the Douro, the Maçanitas use classic Douro grape varieties with modern winemaking techniques to produce wines of balance, elegance and true Douro character. Somehow managing to combine Antonio’s wink-and-nod irreverence and Joana’s steadfast pursuit of preserving Portuguese winemaking traditions, this brother and sister team has captured the spirit of the Douro as only they are able.

Vines are tended in schist soil at 150-300m (330-1000ft) elevation in Cima Corgo, Douro. This is a sub-region that experiences extreme highs and lows of temperature, with some of the diurnal differences seen in worldwide. As such, the fruit is able to undergo extended hangtime and ripening. Vine age ranges from 20-80+ years old.

Hand harvested. Cold-soak fermentation using wild yeasts, with 20 days maceration. Aged for 12 months: 50% in stainless steel, 25% in new French barrique, 25% used French barrique.

55% Touriga Nacional, 25% old vine field blend (80+ years), 20% Sousao. 

See also the above in more diagrammatic form from Macanita (blue link below).

Macanita Tinto 2017- fiche technique

This is a fresh, balanced rendition of a classic Douro red. Preserving the intrinsic bent toward the richness and power of the Douro, all while showcasing balance, minerality and elegance. Deep violet. On the nose, redolent of black and blue fruit tinged with violets and wet stone. On the palate, rich but balanced, with fresh acidity coupling the dark blueberry and plum fruit. Finishes long and spicy, with a big dose of flowers and minerals.

£14.95

Mar Da Palha Vinho Tinto 2011 (1x75cl)

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.

£13.55

Quinta Da Plansel Plansel Selecta Red 2017 (1x75cl)

The winery was created in 1997, when Dorina Lindemann moved from Germany to Portugal and devoted herself to the production of wine. Today, Dorina and her two daughters, Julia and Luisa continue to be passionate about the indigenous vines of Alentejo. It is the relationship between their wine and the terroir of Quinta da Plansel that has enabled them to work towards a precision driven style of viticulture.

Quinta da Plansel is situated about 100km from Lisbon, in the southeastern part of the city of Montemor-o-Novo. They have around 75 hectares of vineyards that are an integral part of the DOC area of Évora. This region has a temperate climate of Mediterranean characteristics. The temperatures fall quickly with the sunset and, with the maritime influence, night-time temperatures are below 18 ºC. The cool nights guarantee good acidity in the wines and a favourable aromatic profile.

This wine is 50% Touriga Nacional, 40% Aragonez (Tempranillo) and 10% Trincadeira.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been produced by the team at Quinta da Plansel, please click on the blue link below.

Plansel Selecta Red 2017 - fiche technique

£9.95

Quinta Da Plansel Plansel Selecta Reserva 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

£15.30

Quinta Do Crasto Crasto Douro Superior 2016 (1x75cl)

Located in a prime spot of the Douro in Northern Portugal, Quinta do Crasto has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for more than a century. Like all the other great Douro estates, Quinta do Crasto dates far back into ancient times. The name Crasto comes from the Latin castrum meaning “Roman fort”. Quinta do Crasto today has a full range of products, from white and red Douro wines, to premium Port wines and Extra Virgin Olive oils.

Considerable investment has been made over recent years at Quinta do Crasto to modernise the vineyards and winery facilities so as to ensure the production of high quality wines, year after year. Each of these developments, allied with the passion of an entire team dedicated to seeking out the highest possible quality in wine and other products, have contributed to Quinta do Crasto’s growing national and international reputation.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Quinta do Crasto, please click on the blue link below.

Quinta Do Crasto Crasto Douro Superior 2015 - fiche technique

Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Souzão: the maker does not specify the exact proportions.

Bright purple in colour, with attractive aromas of fresh wild berry fruit and elegant notes of spices. Balanced on the palate, evolving into a wine with a serious backbone, excellent volume and a fine texture made of velvety tannins. This is a captivating wine, with a fresh and lingering finish.

£16.55

Quinta Do Crasto Douro (Old Vines) Reserva 2016 (1x75cl)

Located in a prime spot of the Douro in Northern Portugal, Quinta do Crasto has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for more than a century. Like all the other great Douro estates, Quinta do Crasto dates far back into ancient times. The name Crasto comes from the Latin castrum meaning “Roman fort”. Quinta do Crasto today has a full range of products, from white and red Douro wines, to premium Port wines and Extra Virgin Olive oils.

Considerable investment has been made over recent years at Quinta do Crasto to modernise the vineyards and winery facilities so as to ensure the production of high quality wines, year after year. Each of these developments, allied with the passion of an entire team dedicated to seeking out the highest possible quality in wine and other products, have contributed to Quinta do Crasto’s growing national and international reputation.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Quinta do Crasto, please click on the blue link below.

Quinta Do Crasto Douro Reserva 2016 - fiche technique

Grapes: old vines (mixed plantings with 25 to 30 different grape varieties).

Deep ruby in colour. The nose is very expressive, revealing the unique characteristics of our old vines: complex aromas of fresh gum cistus and berry fruit well integrated with light cocoa hints. Elegant on the palate, evolving into a firm wine, with excellent volume and a compact structure made of fresh, velvety-textured tannins. This is a wine with a distinctive identity and a long lingering, balanced finish.

£22.35

Quinta Do Crasto Douro Red 2017 (1x75cl)

Located in a prime spot of the Douro in Northern Portugal, Quinta do Crasto has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for more than a century. Like all the other great Douro estates, Quinta do Crasto dates far back into ancient times. The name Crasto comes from the Latin castrum meaning “Roman fort”. Quinta do Crasto today has a full range of products, from white and red Douro wines, to premium Port wines and Extra Virgin Olive oils.

Considerable investment has been made over recent years at Quinta do Crasto to modernise the vineyards and winery facilities so as to ensure the production of high quality wines, year after year. Each of these developments, allied with the passion of an entire team dedicated to seeking out the highest possible quality in wine and other products, have contributed to Quinta do Crasto’s growing national and international reputation.

This wine is made using Touriga Nacional 30%, Tinta Roriz 30%, Touriga Franca 30%, Tinta Barroca 10%.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Quinta do Crasto, please click on the blue link below.

Quinta do Crasto Douro Red 2017 - fiche technique

£13.10

Quinta Do Vallado Douro Tinto 2017(1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Douro value reds (see blue link below).

Quinta Do Vallado Douro Tinto 2017 - July 2019 Decanter review

Quinta do Vallado, established in 1716, is one of the oldest and most famous "Quintas" in the Douro Valley. It once belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, and still belongs to her descendents. It lies on both banks of the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro river, near its mouth, close to the town of Peso da Régua.

Quinta do Vallado´s 70 ha of vineyards are for the most planted in south and west facing slopes of slate soil, excellent for an optimum ripening of the grapes, taking advantage of the Mediterranean climate. Two thirds of the vineyards are planted in terraces with a single row of vines, pruned according to the double cordon system.

To see an excellent information and tasting note which has been produced by the team at Quinta do Vallado, please click on the blue link below.

Quinta do Vallado Douro Tinto 2017 - fiche technique

£13.70
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