The 2017 vintage (alas, no longer available) was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).
Founded in 2002, Aphros is a project designed to combine ecological and economical aspects to create true sustainability. Their belief is that nature and labor should combine in a meaningful way and they seek to capture this through biodynamic viticulture, letting the uniqueness of the land shine through the fruit for inimitable wines. Loureiro and Vinhão have grown in these vineyards for centuries and serve as the reference point for the region.
The grapes are sourced from the Lima sub-region and the vines of Casal do Paço are situated in a south facing amphitheater north of the Lima River on gentle slopes with cool Atlantic breezes.
The winemaking is traditional, taking place in the basement beneath the main house. The cave is buried and naturally cool and damp. They once again straddle the line between modern and traditional character with the addition of modern stainless steel equipment and traditional open top lagars, granite stone tanks, for red wine production.
To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine from Aphros, please click on the blue link below.
This unique reading of the lively Loureiro grape replaces its usual perfume with earthy, baked apple aromas and adds a fine but grippy seam of tannins into what is a savoury yet quite electrifying wine.
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.
This white blend comes from relatively high-altitude vineyards above the river Douro. The grapes were harvested by hand in the highlands and plateaus of the region and were selected for their balance between phenolic maturity and excellent freshness. The soil in the Douro Valley is schistous; a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties.
Winter 2017-18 was cold and dry. Spring was extremely wet, which replenished the water reserves in the soil, but also affected flowering and led to the increased prevalence of diseases on the vine, which caused significant losses. Despite a hot and dry summer, the levels of humidity in the soil contributed to a long and balanced maturation, that helped produce wines of excellent quality.
On arrival at the winery of Casa Ferreirinha in Vila Real, the grapes were destemmed and softly crushed. They were pressed and the must clarified by static decanting at low temperatures. This was followed by a long alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures between 16ºC-18ºC. After fermentation, around 20% of the wine was aged in used casks for three months, the remainder held in stainless steel tanks.
20% Malvasia Fina, 20% Viosinho, 15% Arinto/Pedernã, 15% Códega , 15% Gouveio (Verdelho), 10% Rabigato, 5% Moscatel (!)
This wine is lemon yellow in colour with golden lights. On the nose, intense floral notes stand out with hints of tropical fruit and earthy, slightly shrubby tones. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with a lively and well-integrated acidity, alongside floral notes and touches of white peaches. The finish is long and fragrant.
ABV = 12.5%.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines" (see blue link below).
The Esporão project began in the Alentejo from an irrepressible desire to make the finest wines. This is the basis of everything they do. Part of the Alentejo’s montado ecosystem (cork oak forests), in Portugal, Herdade do Esporão has extraordinary conditions for agriculture – large thermal amplitudes, poor and various soils and extraordinary biodiversity that helps them produce in balance with the environment. With 691.9 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and other crops, they grow using organic methods .
Please click the blue link below to see an excellent and informative tasting note / information sheet about this wine from the winemakers at Esporao.
ABV = 13.5%.
The Meireles family have nurtured the region’s varietal characteristics to produce wines with a true sense of place. The Vinho Verde boasts eye-catching packaging and a typical fresh style of this type of wine.
After the grapes are picked by hand, the grapes are pressed at low pressure. Fermentation then takes place in stainless tanks at a controlled temperature (12 to 14ºC) over three weeks.
This wine has fruity, floral notes, which are fresh and well balanced. The nose is reminiscent of aromatic green apple, melon and white peach. The palate is balanced and smooth with a generous texture and a touch of petillance. White peach, apples and tangerine on the palate leading to a long, crisp finish.
ABV = 10.5%.