Casa Ferreirinha

Douro, douro Portugal

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 unfortified wine, rather than Port. Named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira, Casa Ferreirinha, pays homage to the memory of this visionary woman. Purchased by Sogrape in 1987, Casa Ferreirinha has 520 hectares of vineyard in all of the three Douro sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. Quinta da Leda is Casa Ferreirinha’s flagship estate, located close to the border with Spain in the far east of the Douro Superior, it is the source of grapes for many of the top wines. The great Luís Sottomayor has been head winemaker since 1989 and restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a vibrant freshness allied to a wonderful texture and depth.

The care with which Luís selects the fruit for each wine is especially evident in the quality of the white wines. Most whites from the Douro display the hallmarks of heat, yet the ‘Planalto’, from higher altitude vineyards, is deliciously fresh and vibrant. The unoaked ‘Papa Figos’ white, a blend of Rabigato, Viosinho, Arinto, Códega, Gouveio and Moscatel, is also wonderfully crisp and aromatic. Quinta do Sairrão, one of the coolest vineyard sites in the Cima Corgo located at 600 metres above sea level, is the source of grapes for the ‘Vinha Grande’ white and rosé. The white is partially fermented in, and aged for eight months in, new French oak barrels, it is a complex and textured wine with a buttery richness from the oak. The ‘Vinha Grande’ rosé, made from 100% Touriga Nacional, boasts bright aromas of red berries, coupled with hints of violet and a lively acidity.

The Casa Ferreirinha reds are all characterised by great depth of flavour. They range from the unoaked, ripe and juicy ‘Esteva’ and ‘Papa Figos’, through to the oak-aged ‘Vinha Grande’ and ‘Callabriga’, which marry intense and concentrated aromas of red and black fruit with subtle spicy hints of tobacco box and cocoa. The ‘Quinta da Leda’, a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, and Tinta Roriz grown on the eponymous estate, is aged for 18 months in oak barrels, 50% of which are new. It is a wine of great complexity and elegance, with velvety tannins, a vibrant acidity and aromas of ripe blackberry and damson, cedary spicy notes and a subtle slate-like minerality. Single-varietal wines in the Douro are atypical, and the Tinta Francisca is quite a curiosity. There are only 40 hectares of this variety currently in existence, including a small plot on the Quinta do Seixo estate in the Cima Corgo. Aged for 24 months in French oak barrels, this is a unique and complex wine, boasting aromas of red berries coupled with notes of black pepper, balsamic and an earthy tertiary character.

Two of Portugal’s most fabled wines are the jewels of the Casa Ferreirinha crown: ‘Reserva Especial’ and ‘Barca Velha‘. Only produced in indisputably outstanding years, Luís Sottomayor is scrupulous in his decision to declare a vintage. We have very limited quantities available, so please speak to your Account Manager regarding availability.

 

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