Wine of the week: vinous epiphanies from Portugal
These magnificent wines are a tenth of the price of Barca-Velha, but they lack nothing in passion, build-quality, epic skill and deliciousness.
2017 Quinta da Leda, Casa Ferreirinha, Douro, Portugal
I enjoyed an epiphanic tasting the other day at the brilliant Corrigan’s Mayfair. The restaurant formed a perfect backdrop for a simply spectacular line-up of Casa Ferreirinha wines. The Vinha Grande white, rosé and red from this historic Portuguese estate are three of the country’s most highly specced wines.
The focus of the tasting was the 2011 Barca-Velha (£545, hedonism.co.uk), Ferreirinha’s iconic red. I tasted the 1982, 1991, 1999 and the new 2011, and every wine was revelatory. The 2011 is the finest young Portuguese red wine I have ever tasted and awarded it a score of 19.5+/20 in my notes – this is a first for a Portuguese red. I have written up my full tasting notes and published them on my website.
But today my focus is on Quinta da Leda, Ferreirinha’s most famous vineyard and its eponymous single-plot wine. While Barca-Velha is a late-released, multi-site blend, Quinta da Leda is a very different beast, and I tasted the 2007, 2016, 2017 and 2018. I must insist that you buy the 2017 now. Do your research, drink another bottle, read more and drink another one. Then try the 2018, which will gain retail listings shortly. Then search for the 2016 – it must be out there. These are all magnificent wines, and while they are a tenth of the price of Barca-Velha, they lack nothing in passion, build-quality, epic skill and deliciousness. I can guarantee you your own vinous epiphanies if you follow my instructions this week!
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com)