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.
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.
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, e many other, all proceeding from old vines and more recent plantations of Quinta Vale D. Maria, vineyards ranging from 25 to more than 60 years old, and facing South, Southeast, Southwest, East and West.
Vinification and ageing: Grapes are crushed by foot, before the fermentation, together with 15% of the total grape brandy which would be added to the final Port., allowing for maceration of grapes at cooler temperatures and for a longer period before fermentation. When must is ready for the addition of the remaining grape brandy, the fortification is made in one single moment, adding all brandy to the must and skins in the lagar. Some more treading ensures good homogenization and that the fermentation is stopped. The blend of must and brandy stays in the lagar for some more 2 to 4 days, with very slight treading twice a day. 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 up to a month before bottling.
Tasting Notes: With an intense color, Quinta Vale D. Maria Reserva Porto Lote nº18 is expressive on the nose. With notes of delicious black fruit, this wine is balanced and powerful, as is the costume. The finish is long, elegant and fruity.