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Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Douro Branco 2019 £10.95
Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Douro Branco 2019
Casa Ferreirinha was the first Douro producer dedicated entirely to making table wines, rather than Port. Its origins date back to 1952 when Fernando Nicolau de Almeida produced the first-ever vintage of Barca-Velha and kickstarted the quality revolution in Douro table wines. Named after the legendary Dona Antónia Ferreira, one of the formidable widows of the world of wine, Casa Ferreirinha pays homage to the memory of this visionary woman. Today, the winemaking team is headed up by Luís Sottomayor, who restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a vibrant freshness allied to a lovely texture and depth.
This white blend comes from high-altitude vineyards above the river Douro. The soil in the Douro Valley is schistous; a slate-like metamorphic rock that fractures vertically - allowing vine roots to dig deep to access water and nutrients to sustain them through the hot Douro summers. The poor quality of the soil forces the grapes to produce low yields of grapes with a great concentration of flavour. The grapes were harvested by hand and were selected for their balance between flavour intensity and freshness.
The 2019 vintage began with a cold and dry winter. Rainfall was lower than usual in the spring and temperatures were mild - providing ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. Mild temperatures continued into the summer, with occasional rain and no significant spikes in temperature. This made for a long and steady ripening period during which the grapes accumulated concentrated flavours whilst retaining balancing acidity.
Each grape variety in the blend was vinified separately. Upon arrival at the Casa Ferreirinha winery in Vila Real, the grapes were destemmed, gently crushed and pressed and they must be clarified by static decanting at low temperatures. This was followed by a slow alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures between 16ºC-18ºC to retain the aromas and freshness of the grapes. After fermentation, the wines were kept in stainless-steel tanks for around six months before the final blend was assembled.
Lemon yellow in colour. On the nose, citrus and tropical fruit notes stand out along with subtle floral nuances and a touch of minerality. On the palate, the wine is crisp with a lively acidity balancing the concentrated fruit flavours and a clean, fresh finish.