Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2016  £18.95


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CASA FERREIRINHA `CALLABRIGA` DOURO TINTO

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.

Prior to the 2016 vintage, the 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 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.