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Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Douro Branco 2018 £10.95
CASA FERREIRINHA PLANALTO DOURO BRANCO 2018
This producer, founded in 1952, is named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira. She was affectionately nicknamed 'Ferreirinha' by her countrymen, and Casa Ferreirinha, the first producer in the region dedicated to making light wines, pays homage to her memory. Purchased by Sogrape in 1987, it has 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three subregions: 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.
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 poor in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. The poor quality of the soil forces the grapes to produce low yields but in turn very high-quality grapes.
Winter 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 gently crushed. They were pressed and the must be 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.
This wine is lemon yellow in colour with golden hues. On the nose, intense floral notes stand out with hints of tropical fruit and citrus notes as well as a touch of minerality. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with lively and well-integrated acidity, alongside tropical notes. The finish is long and fragrant.