Ferreira Vintage Port 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A ripe wine that has great fruit as well as tannins, this is rich and perfumed. It has a layer of minerality that brings it close to the tough schist of the Douro. At the same time, the rich fruits are generous. The potential is excellent. Drink from 2029.
The 2016 Vintage Port is a roughly equal blend of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, coming in with 115 grams of residual sugar. This has the power to equal its siblings (Sandeman and Offley) and perhaps the freshness to equal the Sandeman, but one thing that makes this better is the longer finish. Plus, it has the concentration to match the power. The intensity is terrific, and the bright demeanor is a little overwhelmed just now by the power and focus. Overall, it's a fine group of Ports from Sogrape this issue. I'd pick this of the three, as it seems to have the most upside potential. It should continue to improve in the cellar. Give it some time, notably more than indicated, if you want real harmony and complexity.
Since 1751, the Ferreira name has been synonymous with high-quality Portuguese wines. The first Portuguese owned Port house, its history is intertwined with the evolution of the Douro Region and its wines.
The story of Ferreira is inextricably associated with one extraordinary woman. Daughter of one of the company’s founders, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira was born in the country town of Régua, gateway to the wines of the Douro Valley, in 1811. Though small in stature and reserved by nature, Dona Antónia was charismatic, visionary and entrepreneurial. She created new expanses of terraced vineyards and improved the hard lives of local farming families. The local people’s affectionately called her ‘A Ferreirinha’ – ‘the little Ferreira’. When ‘The Ferreirinha’ died in 1896, she left behind a portfolio of great Douro estates and an immensely successful business.
Today, more than 250 years after its foundation, Ferreira is the only great Porto Wine house to have always remained in Portuguese family hands. Ferreira is quintessentially Portuguese and a benchmark in excellent, quality Ports. It is a symbol of the country and culture it proudly honors.
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.
Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.