Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2015  £17.85

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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 grapes were picked from different sections of the Quinta da Leda estate as well as some neighbouring vineyards. Quinta da Leda's 160 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.

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 40ºC impacting on the vines and grape maturation. These factors brought the growth cycle forward one to two weeks. Rainfall in September was higher than average, which helped to balance the final maturation. The harvest began in the first week of September, and the grapes presented very balanced levels of sugar, acidity and phenolic compounds.

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 gently filtered before bottling.

This wine is deep ruby in colour with an intense and complex aroma, notes of black and red berries, pepper and pine needles are present 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.

The 2015 vintage has not been reviewed as of yet but here is what the critics thought about the 2014 Vintage.

Reviewer: Blind tasted by DWWA Judges(at Decanter's World Wine Awards 2017, ExCel London, 24 Apr 2017)

"DWWA 2017 Gold medal: Deep, dark, rich and spicy nose. Intense black plum, prune and cherry on palate with bergamot and graphite. Bold with wonderful ripeness."


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