Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda 2016
A deep ruby color. An intense and very complex aroma of dried fruits, such as almonds and hazelnuts, with floral notes of lavender, balsamic hints of cedar and menthol, spicy tones, touches of scrubbiness and minerality, and additional notes of black fruit and very high-quality wood. On the palate, it is full-bodied and smooth at the same time, with lively, well-integrated tannins and further notes of flowers and black fruit that invite a finish of great elegance and longevity. Ideal to accompany meat dishes, game and cheeses.
Blend: 50% Touriga Franca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 15% Tinto Cão, 10% Tinta Roriz
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The wine comes from a great estate in the Douro Superior that forms the basis for the blend of the iconic Barca Velha. It has a beautifully subtle harmony between the rich black fruits and the structured wood and tannins. There is balance and elegance in this impressive wine that demands aging.
A generous red, packed with flavors and offering plenty of elegance to the raspberry reduction, violet and cherry gelée notes, underscored with olive, baking spice and mineral nuances. Polished tannins frame the rich, long finish, marked by vanilla and espresso details. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão and Tinta Roriz.
The 2016 Quinta da Leda is a blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 25% Touriga Nacional and 15% Tinto Cão and 10% Tinta Roriz, aged for 18 months in an equal mixture of new and used French oak. It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. One of the prestige wines here, this rarely has the power of, say, Reserva Especial, but its elegance often makes it as much or more appealing, if not as attention getting. For instance, I'd take the 2009 Leda over the muscular Reserva Especial in that vintage. In any event, this is a particularly fresh version, sunny and lifted with a fine finish. This can be profitably drunk now, but it won't hurt if you can give it a couple of years to come around, pull in just a bit of wood and show some complexity. I think this is a step behind some recent vintages, but it's still early and this will have more time to develop. It is certainly very good, no matter what.
A story in every bottle. A Douro Valley pioneer and leader, Casa Ferreirinha has carried the torch for creative, quality winemaking in the Douro becoming the region’s most historic and iconic house. Casa Ferreirinha wines range from easy-drinking Esteva and Planalto through the richer Papa Figos and Vinha Grande to the exceptional Quinta da Leda, Reserva Especial, and Barca Velha which remains one of Portugal’s most famous, long-lived, elegant and complex wines. The story of Casa Ferreirinha is inextricably associated with one extraordinary woman: Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira was born in 1811 in the country town of Régua, the gateway to the wines of the Douro Valley. Though small in stature and reserved by nature, Dona Antónia was a charismatic visionary with entrepreneurial drive. In 1845 at age 33, she took over her family’s business, Ferreira Port, the first Portuguese family-owned Port House in the Douro. During her tenure at Ferreira Port, Dona Antónia expanded her estates, created new expanses of terraced vineyards and improved the hard lives of the local farming families. She was affectionally called ‘Ferreirinha’ – ‘the little Ferreira’. Dona Antónia’s legacy and quest for excellence continues to be a fundamental pillar of Casa Ferreirinha. In the 1950’s, Ferreira’s technical director, Fernando Nicolau de Almeida, set out to make the highest quality unfortified wines in the Douro. His aim was to produce elegant, top-quality wines with the aging potential of Vintage Port. In 1952, Barca Velha was born, an iconic wine made only in exceptional vintages combining the best grapes from the Douro Superior with grapes sourced at high altitudes.
The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.
While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.
White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.
With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.