The reflection of the Douro Superior’s austerity in the density it presents, and the finesse of the terroir through the delicacy of the fruit that grows in it.
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 origin: Located in the sub-region of the Douro Superior, the Quinta Vale do Sabor is situated in one of the most special valleys of this region. This Quinta distinguishes itself because of the sinuosity of the Sabor river, where the valley is closed in, and where we planted grape varieties such as Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alicante Bouschet and Baga. With vines between 10 and 35 years-old , producing wines of great concentration.
Vinification and ageing: All the grapes are hand-picked, carefully selected in our sorting table and de-stemmed before entering the granite stone lagares, at Quinta Vale do Sabor. All the grapes are foot-trodden in the lagares, they then ferment for 7 or 10 days at controlled temperatures between 22º and 27ºC, in stainless steel vats with manual pump-overs. The wine is then transferred into second and third use French-oak barrels of 225L where the malolactic fermentation takes place. It ages, afterwards, for 21 months in the same oak barrels. The final selection and blending of the wine is done one month before bottling.
Tasting notes: Vale D. Maria Vinhas do Sabor red 2018 is very concentrated and fresh. Lively, it strikes, on the nose, for the exuberance of very present fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. With a floral touch, this wine has a long and fresh finish.