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Located 60 miles inland from Porto, Quinta de la Rosa is set in the heart of the Alto Douro, with steeply terraced vineyards that give the impression of tumbling into the river below. The estate is situated on the southeast facing banks of the River Douro, one kilometer from Pinhão in the Cima Corgo region. Run by Sophia Bergqvist and ably assisted by her brother, Philip, Quinta de la Rosa has been in the family for over 100 years. The estate was given as a christening present for Claire Feueheerd, Sophia’s grandmother, in 1906. Though they were the first growers to produce a Single Quinta port from La Rosa's grapes, the family was known exclusively for their farming expertise—selling all their grapes to bigger bodegas like Croft and Sandeman. The family port shipping company, Feueheerd, was sold in the 1930s but La Rosa was kept and run by Sophia’s grandmother, Claire.
In 1988 Sophia and her late father, Tim Bergqvist, decided to restart the family business and launched Quinta de la Rosa, a top-quality port producer, onto the marketplace. Starting in the early 1990s, the Bergqvist family was one of the pioneers in taking table wine production in the Douro region seriously. Quinta de la Rosa’s red and white table wines have won many accolades in the press and are sold in many prestigious restaurants and wine stores around the world.
The Bergqvist family is now known as a pioneer of the Douro. As farmers first, the terroir-driven quality of Quinta de la Rosa’s red wines has been credited with helping put the region on the map for serious oenophiles. The 2002 hiring of Jorge Moreira (a mentee of Dirk Niepoort and now one of the most respected winemakers in Portugal) has only further established the estate’s reputation. Moreira’s obsessive focus on coaxing maximum minerality out of its schist soils is second only to his advocacy of old, native Portuguese varieties.
All eight of Quinta de la Rosa’s single vineyards (a total of 55 hectares) are A-graded. La Rosa is fortunate in having great diversity in its vineyards ranging from altitudes along the banks of the River Douro up to 400 meters above sea level. The older dry stone-walled vineyards are planted with mixed varieties where vines are at least 50 years old and yields as low as 10 hectoliters per hectare. The newer vineyards (‘patamares’) date from the early seventies and are block planted with the approved varieties — Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, and Tinta Cão. This allows head winemaker, Jorge Moreira, and his team to annually produce the highest possible quality of 50,000 liters of port and 100,000 liters of table wine (on average) from grapes of differing physiological attributes. All Quinta de la Rosa wines and Ports are estate grown, estate produced, and estate-bottled. The Quinta de La Rosa ‘house’ style is to make well-defined, elegant wines and ports without over-extraction and without too much tannin or oak. The wines are rich and full-bodied while maintaining freshness and good acidity.
Tasting Notes: A wine with enormous concentration, one immediately appreciates its deep violet color and great aromatic intensity. Extremely complex, it is dominated by dark berries with exuberant floral elements. On the palate, it maintains its intensity without losing any of its energy and freshness. Well structured like any great declared Vintage port, its evolution is guaranteed for many decades, however, it is so seductive and full-bodied that it is difficult to refrain from drinking it immediately.
The 2016 Vintage Port was bottled in August 2018 after spending 18 months in wood. Mostly Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, it comes in at 103 grams per liter of residual sugar. Rather nicely concentrated in terms of fruit flavor, this beautifully balanced Porto also has moderately ripe tannins, velvet for texture and a persistent finish. It coats the palate and delivers intense flavor on that finish, while the fruit is always lifted. Then, the tannins take over as the fruit recedes. Several days later, it was still drinking beautifully and it was surprisingly persistent, concluding with controlled tannic pop. The tannins may be ripe, but there are plenty of them. It took several days to open up again and become expressive again. There's plenty here to like, beginning with its enticing freshness and ending with the fact that it is delicious. ~93 Wine Spectator
Lots of grape-skin, blueberry, blackberry and black-tea aromas follow through to a full body, chewy yet polished tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows a grip of tannins, but in a polished and friendly way. ~92 James Suckling
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