The variety of grape varieties makes this wine deep and intense, with aromas of cherry, plum and wild blackberry, typical of the field blend in its origins.
2017 was characterized by an extremely dry and hot year. The vegetative cycle was significantly fast, anticipating the harvest to the earliest date ever in our winemaking memory. We started picking white grapes on the 21st August and on August 26th we picked the first red grapes. In 2017 there was not much precipitation. During the months of June, July and August there were very high temperatures, which led to a hydric thermal and luminous stress, which conditioned the production of the vine. Nonetheless, there was an increase in production compared to 2016, even if not to the degree initially anticipated in the early part of the vegetative cycle. At the sorting table, there was very little fruit rejection, since 2017 was a year of very good phytosanitary conditions. Concentration in the berries, heat and lack of water during the maturation period, accelerated the ripening of the berries, resulting in musts of great complexity and quality.
Origins: Grapes used for Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro Red come from the original 10 hectares of the Quinta. They are older than 60 years of age and are planted with 41 different grape varieties, among them Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Francisca, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Sousão, and many others. The vineyards face South, South East, South West, East and West. At Quinta Vale D. Maria we take care of our vineyards through sustainable treatments, using horsetail herb, organic compost, seaweed and nettles to protect against fungal diseases. Thus, we seek to nourish the soil and create healthier plants in a sustainable way.
Vinification: We have divided the field in different parcels. We pick all grapes by hand. Grapes are then selected before entering the winery. They are de-stemmed and foot trodden in granite lagars for 1 to 3 days. Each parcel will ferment separately either in the granite lagars or in the stainless-steel tanks. Wines in lagar will have foot treading every night, whilst the stainless-steel tanks will undergo manual pump-overs. We then rack the resulting wines in new Allier French oak 225-liter casks from various coopers (Seguin Moreau, François Frères, Taransaud, Nadalie and Berthomieu), where they go through malolactic fermentation. All wines are carefully aged for 21 months in barriques (70% new and 30% one year old), the different batches obtained from each fermentation being kept completely separate until the composition of the final batch, about a month before bottling.
Tasting notes: Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro Red 2017 has stunning fruit coming out of the glass, with flavourful aromas of cherries, raspberries, plums and blackberries, typical of the field blend that makes this wine. It is concentrated, with a fine structure and power that enhances the succulent texture of the wine. It is well balanced, with a fresh feel in a harmonious blend, making it an extremely elegant wine. This is a wine to have now, for the experience of fresh fruit, or to hold back and age in bottle for many years to come.
We love pairing this wine with game dishes, such as partridge and quail. A slow roasted beef, with oven baked potatoes and vegetables is also a favorite.