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Tinta Negra Mole. Soil: mixed volcanic (basalt, tufa). Harvest: mid-August to early October; hand-harvested. Fermentation: some whole-cluster; fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts. Elevage: 90-day estufagem, followed by aging in balseiro (large cask) for a minimum of three years.
Touriga Franca/Touriga Nacional/Tinta Roriz plus mixed-variety old vines. From exclusively Class A parcels (Serra Douro and Serra de Baixho) totaling 7.5 hectares on poor schist soils—the vines are 50 years or older. The fruit is hand-harvested, partly destemmed and fermented exclusively in lagar; fermentation is stopped with 77-degree wine brandy. The wine is aged for 2 years in a variety of tonel and balseiro, which are tall wooden tanks from 3,000-60,000 liters with thick staves that slow down oxidation. The 2016 finished at a modest 19.5% alcohol and 72 g/liter RS. In the glass, the wine shows a beautiful red/purple plum in color. The nose is full of fruity cassis and smoke, anise, fennel, and cherry. After a moment, you can detect a subtle aroma of sweet cocoa. The palate is generous, with bold flavors of plum and black cherry, plus a refreshing edge of bitter herb. Plump in structure, cut by a dash of medium acidity. A lovely dose of simple and elegant sweetness, as well. A long finish ends with an essence of dried cherries and espresso. This is a port for all drinkers - complex and tasty!
(Arrives 4/6) Old-vine field blend of over twenty varieties, made in the best vintages rather than from a blend of vintages. The Infantado Colheita is always a superb wine, a bit more distinctive and rich than the regular 10-year. It comes from exclusively Class A parcels (Vale de Moinhos and Castelos) totaling 3.5 hectares on poor schist soils. The fruit is hand-harvested, partly destemmed and fermented exclusively in lagar; fermentation is stopped with seventy-seven-degree wine brandy. The wine was aged for ten years in a combination of very old tonel or balseiro (tall wooden tanks from 3,000-60,000 liters with thick staves that slow down oxidation) and the classic Port pipa (550-liter horizontal casks with thinner staves that promote oxidation). The 2011 is a gorgeous wine with a lovely fairly dark tawny color . The aromas are pure and elegant with dried red currant and raisin, rose petal, blood orange peel, clove. The palate is silky and supple with very pure focused flavors of dried fruits, earth, citrus and brown spice that continue in the very long finish which is sustained by firm acidity. This is a simply outstanding Colheita that will pair with fruit deserts and full-flavored cheeses and is a delight to sip by itself. This happily avoids the excess sweetness and brandy notes of Colheitas from the more commercial houses. Highly recommended and a bargain at the price! David Lillie
The Quinta do Infantado is a delicious "ruby" port of superb quality made from Touriga Franca/Touriga Nacional/Tinta Roriz/old field-blended red varieties. From exclusively Class A parcels (Serra Douro, Lapa, Castelos) totaling 11.5 hectares on poor schist soils. The fruit is hand-harvested, partly destemmed and fermented in lagar and tank; fermentation is stopped with 77-degree grape brandy. The wine is aged in a variety of tonel and balseiro, which are tall wooden tanks from 3,000-60,000 liters with thick staves that slow down oxidation. It finishes at a modest 19.5% alcohol and 70 g/liter RS, in other words considerably drier than most rubies. The average age in bottle is 2-3 years. This is an insanely delicious everyday porto that is the best value in the US, or in Portugal for that matter...
From exclusively Class A parcels (Serra di Cima and Serra Douro) totaling 12 hectares on poor schist soils. The fruit is hand-harvested, partly destemmed and fermented in lagar and tank; fermentation is stopped with 77-degree grape brandy. The wine is aged in very old pipas. A pipa or 'pipe" in English is the traditional 550-liter wooden cask used for aging, as well as measuring quantities of, port; it is ideal for tawnies, as oxidation is promoted by its horizontal orientation, smaller capacity and thinner staves (versus the thicker ones of the huge wooden tank called a tonel or balseiro used for ruby and vintage ports). Infantado tawny finishes at a modest 19.5% alcohol and 70 g/liter RS, considerably drier than most tawnies. The average age in bottle is 4-5 years. Practicing Organic Wine made from grapes grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides in the vineyard.