Deep garnet in colour. On the nose pronounced aromas of ripe and juicy strawberries, raspberries and red cherries are coupled with hints of dried fruits and a subtle earthiness. On the palate, structured tannins give backbone to the wine and a refreshing acidity carries the complex flavours onto the lingering finish.
- Feature(s): Vegetarian;Vegan;Sustainable
- Alcohol (ABV): 20 %
- Acidity: 3.98 g/l
- Residual sugar: 102.00 g/l
- pH: 3.60
Sandeman’s stunning 73-hectare Quinta do Vau estate sits on the south bank of the Douro river midway between the villages of Pinhão and Tua. The Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional that make up the sumptuous Vau Vintage blend are planted on steep hillsides sloping down to the river, and are planted in a combination of modern 'patamar' terraces and vertically orientated 'vinha ao alto' rows. The soil in the Douro Valley is made up of schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock. Schist fractures vertically, allowing the vine roots to delve deep to access water reserves and nutrients to sustain them through the hot Douro summers.
The 1999 vintage in the Douro began with a very dry May and June - excellent conditions for flowering and fruit set. Cooler than average temperatures during the summer months allowed the grapes to undergo a slow and steady ripening process, accumulating great intensity of flavour. Heavy downpours at the end of September and in October caused some issues with rot, but the early ripening Tinta Roriz and the thick-skinned Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca fared well and vigorous sorting of the grapes ensured that only those in pristine condition made it into the Vau Vintage.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation took place in robotic lagares and stainless steel vats, with vigorous treading to extract the ideal levels of colour, flavour and tannin from the grape skins. The ferment was closely monitored to determine the ideal moment to halt the fermentation by fortifying with grape spirit, leaving some of the grapes’ natural sugars. The wines remained in the Douro until the spring following the harvest when they were transported downstream to the historic Sandeman cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for ageing in oak casks for two years. The final blend was assembled and bottled in 2001.
International Wine & Spirit Competition 2021
There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the ‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. Since Sogrape bought Sandeman in 2002, the major improvements and investment that have taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen the wines rise to the top of the tree in Port.