Die Revolution am Douro und ihre Kinder - Maître Philippe & Filles

The revolution on the Douro and its children

All experts agree: good wines from Portugal have long been among the best in the world. Part of the reason for this is that Portugal is home to around 200 autochthonous (if not more!) grape varieties – very lucky! A lot is happening, especially in the Douro Valley!

There is now talk of a real "revolution on the Douro" because unlike a little while ago, when only grapes were grown there for the production of port wines, the new winegrowers are now concentrating on increasing the quality of their own, local wines . The new generation that is now at the helm and that we enjoy working with is between 30 and 40 years old and thinks very differently. The French vines that grew in many places were uprooted and replaced by indigenous Portuguese vines. A perfect example is our bestseller from Alentejo: Luis Louro's Alento wines from Adega do Monte Branco in Estremoz.

Fortunately, we already had a good instinct when we bought his wines, because as wine experts, we play the role of scouts in a certain way: we try, discard, try, discover ... and only when we are really convinced do we become You can also get the corresponding bottles from us.

A really outstanding new discovery with which we recently expanded our slowly growing Portuguese wine program are the wines from the winemaker Rita Marques Ferreira from the Douro Valley. Rita's family has been growing wine in the upper Douro for several generations. Their vineyards cover a total of around 85 hectares at an average altitude of 500m above sea level.
The vineyards are cared for without the use of chemicals and in a very natural way. Everything is still done manually. Rita, who incidentally learned her trade in Bordeaux and then worked as a "Flying Winemaker" in New Zealand and South Africa, sells parts of her harvest to other wineries. She only keeps the best for her own wines and uses them to produce fine and elegant wines with lots of freshness and minerality. Everything is well thought out, because Rita has a concept (hence the name: Conceito). Through this concept, Rita reflects the freshness, beauty and balance of her land. She believes in that. And so do we, by the way.

Rita's concept: " The basis of my work is our understanding of wine - how we think and make it - the respect and love for our region, our homeland, and the inspiration through the regional history - our story. Since the 18th century has been monopolized this beautiful landscape exclusively for the production of grapes for the production of port wine and the enormous potential of the eastern Douro has only recently been truly recognized.Several factors came together: first the world demand for port wine fell, and the entire Douro region was also occupied by railroads and the development of roads.The third and probably most important factor is the rethinking of the winemakers themselves, the "Douro Revolution", which promotes the production of very good red wines.This also allows the perception of the region as a mosaic of many small terroirs with each very specific characteristics: for example, the vineyards are usually processed manually and each one is characterized by a special microclimate. We are only at the beginning of a long journey, but we are really dying to get started, heart and soul. The best wine journalists were not wrong and are already awarding grades of often over 90 points. Many well-known winegrowers from other countries have already bought into the area. There is an Eldorado, a gold digger atmosphere in the air that infects us all."

I had heard a lot about Rita – she had a reputation for being a top winemaker (Winespektator regularly gave her 93/94 points...). However, I did not know her personally until now. In order to change this, I recently flew to Lisbon with my wife to attend a wine party. I finally wanted to get to know them personally, introduce myself and convince them to sell us their wines. Our friend and supplier Luis Louro made the contact. That certainly helped us win them over. And that I speak some Portuguese :)

And now to the tears:
Rita produces a beautiful range of wines. We have chosen the following 6 wines: the entry-level wines "Contraste" in red and white, the nobler wines "Conceito", also in red and white, and two port wines - a Tawny and an LBV.

The Contraste Tinto 2012 is a deep dark red with beautiful violet reflections and paints heavy tears on the edge of the glass. Immediately after opening, notes of cassis and blackberry are presented, which are complemented by spice notes (laurel and pepper) after a while. The more you drink, the more flavors come into play and it quickly becomes clear that you are dealing with a real stroke of luck. The Contraste tinto 2012 impresses with its power, finesse and elegance, and at a very fair price.
It goes very well with cheeses such as Epoisses, Brie, Taleggio, with salami and grilled meats and especially with oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and tuna.

The Contraste tinto 2012 is made from the Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Sousão vines.
The vines on Quinta do Cabido and Quinta Chão do Pereiro grow on slate soil and are relatively old at around 40 years old.
The grapes ripened very slowly because winter, spring and autumn were very dry this year and there was no rain during the harvest. As a result, the harvest was very small, but the grapes were healthy and of an absolute top quality.
As in almost the entire Douro, the harvest is done by hand. The harvested grapes are transported in small crates (20kg) to avoid damage, then sorted by hand, destemmed and then gently pressed. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature over a period of several days. After repeated, gentle "pumping-over" (pumping around), a week-long quiet final maceration follows. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tanks. This is followed by an expansion of 18 months - 70% of which in used French barriques and 30% in stainless steel tanks.

  • Price: bottle (75 cl) €9.95, carton (6 bottles) €55.00
  • Alcohol: 13.5% Vol.
  • Acid: 5.2 g/l
  • pH: 3.63
  • Residual sweetness: 0.3 g/l
  • Rating: eParker: 90p, , Revista de vinhos: 16.5/20

The Contraste Branco 2014 opens on the nose with intense, tropical, almost exotic notes of lime and litchee, which are reflected in the mouth. The wine exudes a freshness, minerality and elegance that one would not have expected from southern Europe. A wine made for Riesling lovers.
Classically, it goes well with fish, seafood, sushi… but also with risotto or on its own with an aperitif.

The Contraste branco 2014 is made from Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Códega, and Arinto. The vines grow on a small granitic plateau, 600m above sea level, about 15 kilometers west of Foz Côa.
Winter and spring were very wet and were followed by a dry but not too hot summer. During the harvest, in mid-September, there was heavy rain, so the harvest had to be stopped. As a result, the harvest was unfortunately very small. The grapes, which had made it to the cellar earlier, were in perfect and healthy condition.
After the harvest, the grapes are immediately cooled and gently pressed pneumatically. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. This is followed by a cold filtration, then comes a 6-month aging that took place 30% in new and used French barriques and 70% in stainless steel tanks with regular "batônnages" up to a month before bottling in March 2015 .

  • Price: bottle (75 cl) €9.95, carton (6 bottles) €55.00
  • Alcohol: 13% vol.
  • Acid: 6.41 g/l
  • pH: 3.02
  • Residual sweetness: 0.8 g/l
  • Rating: expected 92p. at Parkers

The Conceito Tinto 2012 is a very dark red, almost black, and immediately after opening, aromas of Madagascar pepper, liquorice and wild blackberries hit the nose. It is a classic "Super Douro wine": elegant despite its full body, and refreshing. The aromas of the bouquet can also be found in the mouth and you can immediately feel the fine, ripe tannins. This wine is reminiscent of expensive Pomerol wines and has at least 10 years of potential ahead of it.
It goes well with all game dishes and also with duck.

The Conceito Tinto 2012 is made from more than 20 different traditional Douro grapes (that's more than in Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe!), including Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Sousão.
The vines grow on slate soil at Quinta do Cabido in a natural south-facing amphitheater. At around 80 years old, the vines are very old. Her yield is small but of excellent quality.
Due to the very dry winter, spring and summer, the berries ripened very slowly but perfectly. Luckily, the weather cooperated during the harvest, so that there were no losses here.
The harvest is done manually. The grapes are transported in small baskets of 20 kg and carefully sorted - both on the floor and in the cellar. The grapes are then partially destemmed and pressed and pumped into stainless steel tanks. Fermentation occurs with controlled temperature, gentle "pumping-overs" and then a final one-week rest period. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tanks.
The aging lasts 20 months and takes place 50% in new French barriques and 50% in used French barriques of 2 years.

  • Price: bottle (75 cl) €29.50, carton (6 bottles) €165.00
  • Alcohol: 14% vol.
  • Acid: 5.2 g/l
  • pH: 3.54
  • Residual sweetness: 0.6 g/l
  • Rating: eParker: 93p, Revista de vinhos: 17.5/20

The Conceito Branco 2013 amazed us with its pronounced finesse and minerality. From the very first sip, we were reminded of great Chablis Grand Crus or even some Puligny Montrachets. However, it is also very different and you can clearly see its mountainous origins: it is as wild and unbridled as a crystalline mountain stream. He has a lot of enamel and a very long finish. Also very special is its salty-mineral side, which has come to the fore more and more in recent vintages. Its natural acidity gives it lightness and elegance.
One of the best white wines I've ever tasted from Southern Europe - a wine with a lot of potential ahead!
It goes well with fine fish and shellfish such as zander, sea bream, loup de mer, lobster, lobster and scallops, as well as risottos, veal, Bresse chicken...

The Conceito Branco 2013 is obtained from around 10 different traditional Douro vines, including Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Códega, Gouveio, Donzelinho Branco, Folgazão, Arinto.
The vineyards are located on extremely hard granite soils on a small, narrow plateau, 600m above sea level in Freixo de Numão, 15 km west of Foz Côa. The vines are very, very old, many even predate the Phylloxera catastrophe.
While winter and spring were very rainy, temperatures suddenly rose sharply from June 21st and remained so until early September. Therefore one had to hurry to harvest as much as possible but then all the grapes that reached the cellar were in very healthy condition.
The harvest is manual and the grapes are transported in small baskets of 20 kg. They are immediately chilled and gently pneumatically pressed without being de-stemmed. Cold filtration only, fermentation in French barriques at a controlled temperature with regular batônnages for up to a month before bottling in June 2014.
The aging lasts 10 months and takes place in used barriques with regular "batônnages".

  • Price: bottle (75 cl) €29.50, carton (6 bottles) €165.00
  • Alcohol: 13% vol.
  • Acid: 6.6 g/l
  • pH: 3.02
  • Residual sweetness: 1.1 g/l
  • Rating: eParker: 94p, Revista de vinhos: 17.5/20

The Tawny Port 10 Years gives off a scent that immediately brings you back to your childhood: caramelized walnuts mix with cotton candy and dried fruits. There are also earthy notes, but also aromas of trail mix and ripe figs, which later combine in the taste to form a perfect symbiosis. The subtle but lasting sweetness in the finale makes this port a perfect accompaniment to cheese or powerful desserts.

  • Grape Varieties: A blend of traditional Douro grape varieties including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca
  • Alcohol content: 20% vol.
  • Acid: 3 g/l
  • pH value: 3.5
  • Residual sweetness: 99 g/l
  • Region: Porto THU
  • Vintage: Blend of different vintages
  • Vinification: Traditional port vinification, no destemming and foot pressing in traditional granite lagares. Pre-fermentation maceration of 2 days, then fermentation of 3 days. Addition of grape alcohol, short maceration and subsequent 10-year barrel aging.

The Port LBV 2009 is purple to black in color, the nose is intoxicating and exuberantly fruity. You can literally smell overripe wild blackberries and noble black pepper (like Kappad). There is also a pinch of violets. It is opulent with an intense fruitiness, incredibly soft and silky. The finish is long. Once opened, this port wine should be drunk within 2 - 3 days, which shouldn't be difficult at all. Because once you start, you don't want to stop... :)

  • Grape Varieties : A blend of traditional Douro grape varieties including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca
  • Alcohol content: 19.5% vol.
  • Acid: 3.2 g/l
  • pH value: 3.64
  • Residual sweetness: 97 g/l
  • Region: Porto THU
  • Vintage: 2009
  • Vinification: Traditional port vinification, no destemming and foot pressing in traditional granite lagares. Pre-fermentation maceration of 2 days, then fermentation of 3 days. Addition of grape alcohol, short maceration and subsequent bottling in barrels. Bottling in June 2013.

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