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.
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.
Grape origins: A blend of more than 25 traditional Douro grapes varieties, with predominance of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, coming from one of the older vineyards of the estate as well as a younger one, between 25 and 60 years of age. Vineyards face South, Southeast, East and West.
Vinification and ageing: All the grapes are foot-trodden in traditional granit lagares, before fermentation, along with 15% of the total amount of brandy. This allows a slow maceration of the grapes in low temperatures and for a longer period of time. The fortification is done all at once, adding all the remaining brandy when the grape must is ready. This is then followed by foot treading, in order to guarantee a good homogenation of the wine, and to stop fermentation. A total of 21 months of ageing – in both very old wooden casks and the during the warmest months, in stainless steel tanks.
Tasting notes: Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port 2017 has a very deep purple color. The fruit is dark, mature, and delicious, with hints of bitter figs and plums. The wine is dense, concentrated, and with a dry ending, indeed the structured tannins balance the sweetness of the wine. It is tense with a delicate, seductive and impressive finish. A classic Vintage Port, with the characteristics to be drunk young or to age for more than 50 years.
We like to drink it with dark chocolate, petit gâteau, cheesecake and cheeses.