At Quinta Vale D. Maria Port wines are made in a traditional way, with foot treading in granite lagares. All Ports are produced with the same care and dedication, in order to create the highest quality wines. We thus maintain the same philosophy for our Ports as for other wines: obtaining a unique character. Since the beginning of the project at Quinta Vale D. Maria, we have been producing Vintage, LBV and Reserve Ports, all from a single harvest.
The selection of vines was based on knowledge of Port wine production over several generations. Each of the plots, planted with various indigenous varieties and mostly exposed to the South, has ages ranging from 25 to 60 years old. These vineyards allow you to create Port Wines with complexity, depth, aroma and structure, which represent a time and a place.
2015 was characterized by being an atypical year, with a cold and dry winter and Spring and Summer that were unusually hot and dry. Particularly relevant was the lack of rain throughout the greatest part of the vegetative cycle, at high temperatures between June and July. The climate provoked an anticipated vegetative cycle, around 1 to 2 weeks earlier than average. Oidium and Mildium did not have any impact on the quality and quantity produced. In comparison to the last decade, 2015 was the healthiest of all years. In the older vineyards we did not have hydric stress due to the capacity of older vines to find water. In the new vines, water was scarce, but there was no significant fall in production. Ripening and maturation was earlier this year. Harvest began on the 26th of August with our white grapes. Picking happened in the most perfect weather and grape conditions.
Grape Origins: A blend of more than 25 different traditional Douro grape varieties, predominately Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, but also Rufete, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Francisca, Sousão, and many others, all from old vines and more recent plantations of Quinta Vale D. Maria, vineyards ranging from 25 to 60 years old, from South, Southeast, Southwest, East and West facing vineyards. These grapes are the last ones to be picked and averaged above 15,5 Baumé.
Vinification and ageing: Grapes were crushed by foot, before fermentation, together with 15% of the total grape brandy which would be added to the final Port. This allows us to macerate the grapes at cooler temperatures and for a longer period before fermentation. When the must was ready for the addition of the remaining grape brandy, the fortification is made in one single moment, adding all the brandy to the must and skins in the lagar. Then some more treading ensures good homogenization of the whole wine and that the fermentation is stopped. The blend of must and brandy stays in the lagar for some more two to four days, with very slight treading twice a day (10 minutes each time). It is then racked to the storage vat together with all the press wine (we use traditional basket presses). The wines aged in very ancient (more than 100 years old) wood Port casks and small stainless-steel vats until the month before the bottling.
Tasting Notes: This wine has a dark color. In the nose, it is very expressive mainly due to the complexity of grape varieties but also due to its ageing in oak barrels. This wine shows notes of black mature fruit, with a dominance of blackberries, black cherries, plums and cassis. Elegant and soft, this Quinta Vale D. Maria LBV Porto 2015 is well-balanced and delicate with a lingering and fruity finish. Ideally paired with chocolate and deserts.