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Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Douro Tinto 2017 £11.95
CASA FERREIRINHA `PAPA FIGOS` 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 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 from Casa Ferreirinha. The grapes are selected from the Douro Superior region, with around 25% coming from Quinta da Leda and the rest from producers owning vineyards that ideally face north or are at a relatively high altitude of up to 400 metres.
The 2016 season experienced a dry and mild winter. Strong and persistent rainfall from the end of winter continued into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors affected flowering in lower-level zones. The high rainfall resulted in a reduction in the quantity of grapes produced. Summer was mild, with some spikes in temperature, and nights were generally cool. These conditions contributed to a long and balanced maturation, which, in turn, produced wines of superior quality.
After gentle destemming and soft-crushing, the grapes were conveyed to stainless steel vats, where maceration of the skins and alcoholic fermentation took place. During this stage, the wine underwent gentle maceration at a controlled temperature. At the end of maceration, around 25% of the wine was aged in used French oak barrels with the remainder left in stainless steel tanks. The final blend is made eight months after harvest, and bottled after 12 months.
This wine is deep ruby red in colour with violet nuances. It has a very intense aroma, dominated by floral notes of basil and rock rose, light menthol tones and notes of red fruits and apricot. On the palate, it has good body, well-integrated acidity, smooth tannins and red fruit notes. Its finish is elegant and balanced.
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