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.
The 2018 viticultural year was out of the ordinary, in comparison with the last five years. Winter was cold and dry and spring was cool and with very high rainfall. The summer was marked by two different stages, first cold and rainy and towards the end, warm and extremely dry. This provoked a later flowering season, however thanks to the rain, the vine found great levels of water to flourish. There was a higher pressure than average for mildium and the climatic instability brought productivity levels down. At Quinta Vale D. Maria (Cima Corgo) we monitored the vineyard carefully to make sure mildium was not very strong. At Quinta Vale do Sabor (Douro Superior), a more consistent climate offered very good conditions for vine development. In August, some dehydration and sun burn occurred, though quite mildly. Therefore, production levels did not fall dramatically at either of our estates. Harvest began on September 12th with white grapes. It ran smoothly, with grape picking occurring at the ideal maturation, and resulting in musts of great quality.
Origins: Grapes used for Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro Red come from the original 10 hectares of the Quinta. They average 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.
Vinification and ageing: 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 225L casks from various coopers (Seguin Moreau, François Frères, Taransaud, Nadalie and Berthomieu), where they go through malolactic fermentation. This wine is carefully aged for 21 months in French-oak barrels (70% new and 30% one year old).
Tasting notes: The aromatic richness, that stands out from the red fruit such as blackberry, raspberry and ripe cherry, characterize Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro red 2018. Elegant and concentrated structure. Juicy in the mouth, it is balanced, fresh and with a long-lasting finish.