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Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda Douro Tinto 2017 £44.70
CASA FERREIRINHA QUINTA DA LEDA DOURO TINTO
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.
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. The soil in the Douro Valley is schistous, a slate-like metamorphic rock that is poor in nutrients but 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.
This vintage had a generally dry, mild winter before continuous rain began towards the end of the season and extended into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to disease pressure requiring work in the vineyard to combat mildew. Summer was mild with occasional heat waves and generally cold nights. This long and balanced end to ripening helped to produce wines of superior quality.
The wine was made at the modern winery at Quinta da Leda. After full destemming, the grapes were gently crushed before being transferred to stainless-steel tanks and granite “Lagares”, where maceration and fermentation occurred. Maceration was adapted to each variety, controlling the temperature at all stages of the process and applying different pumping over techniques. The wines were transported to Vila Nova de Gaia where they continued their maturation for about 18 months in 225-litre French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. The final wine was lightly filtered before bottling.
Deep ruby in colour, this wine has complex and intense aromas of black fruit, along with almonds and hazelnuts, and a touch of lavender. There are balsamic hints and subtle menthol notes with very well-integrated oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with fine tannins and well-developed acidity resulting in a long finish.