When browsing the shelves for Douro reds, it’s always a good idea to look out for the 2011s, the only year so far this decade to have been declared as a vintage for Port wine.
I found this one at my local Jumbo supermarket in Lagoa priced very competitively for a Douro Reserva at €15.
Quinta da Maritávora is a small organic operation producing just 50,000 bottles per year across its whole range of reds, whites and Port wines.
Founded in the 19th century, they were for many decades growers, selling their fruit to Cockburns for Port, and it was only in 2003 that the great grandson of the founder, Manuel Gomes Mota, started to produce and bottle his own wines.
The vineyards are set at high altitude in the upper reaches of the Douro valley and this Reserva red is made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz along with other local grapes all from vineyards aged between 20 and 50 years.
The grapes are trodden by foot and fermented in cement vats in the traditional style before ageing for 18 months in new and used French oak.
This wine is medium to full bodied, showing the elegant side of Douro with freshness and minerality usually associated with considerably more expensive wines. It is ready for drinking now but should improve in the bottle for at least another five years.
By PATRICK STUART [email protected]