Casa Ferreirinha ‘Barca Velha’ Douro Tinto 2011
We have managed to get our hands on just few bottles of Portugal’s most sought-after exclusive red wine…POA.
Founded in 1952, with the production of the first ever vintage of Barca Velha, Casa Ferreirinha pioneered the quality revolution in Douro still wines and was the first producer in the region dedicated entirely to producing wine, rather than port. Named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira, Casa Ferreirinha, pays homage to the memory of this visionary woman. Today, the winemaking 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.
A blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão and Tinta Roriz from the top plots on the Quinta da Leda estate and surrounding vineyards at slightly higher altitude. Quinta da Leda is located in the far eastern reaches of the Douro Superior, just 12 kilometres from the border with Spain. The vineyards are planted on rolling hills on the south bank of the Douro and are a complex patchwork of plots with different aspects and microclimates, each matched to a specific grape variety. Soils are composed predominantly of schist, which fractures vertically and allows the vine roots to delve deep to access water and nutrients.
Luís Sottomayor described the 2011 vintage as “an extraordinary year - one of the best ever in the Douro - intense and exceptional in quality”. A cool and rainy winter replenished water reserves in the soil and sustained the vines through what was a dry growing season. Mild summer temperatures allowed the grapes to undergo a perfectly paced slow ripening, accumulating great intensity of flavour whilst retaining a crisp natural acidity. There were two significant rain showers on 21st August and 1st September, which caused some nervousness about the development of rot, but this threat did not materialise and the grapes were hand harvested in perfect condition.
Vinified at the state-of-the-art Quinta da Leda winery, the grapes were fully destemmed, gently crushed and fermented in stainless- steel tanks. A lengthy post-fermentation maceration on the skins ensured optimum levels of extraction of flavour and tannin. The wine was then transported to cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia where it was aged for 18 months in 225-litre French oak barriques. The barrels were carefully monitored and tasted regularly by Luís and the team and the final blend was assembled from a selection of the best barrels. Aged for several years in bottle prior to release, the tasting and analysis continued and, after careful consideration, Luís made the decision to declare the 2011 vintage in December 2019.
A wine of staggering complexity, power and grace. On the nose, intense aromas of ripe red and black fruit are married with spicy notes of pepper, cedar and tobacco box and a subtle slate-like minerality. Assertive yet elegant on the palate, with firm but velvety tannins and a vibrant acidity which carries the complex flavours onto the lingering and harmonious finish.
45% Touriga Franca 35% Touriga Nacional 10% Tinta Roriz 10% Tinto Cão
Winemaker - Luís Sottomayor
Closure - Natural cork
ABV - 14.5%