Wednesday Wines – Episode 148 – A preview of 2019 Quinta da Leda, Casa Ferreirinha, Douro, Portugal
Some 51 episodes ago, in Wednesday Wines, I wrote a fairly comprehensive overview of the top-flight wines from Casa Ferreirinha. You can click here to read this article.
The other day, the brand new vintage of Quinta da Leda was dropped off for me to look at, and I must say that it completely captivated my senses. Made from a blend of 44% Touriga Franca, 35% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Roriz and 10% Tinto Cão and weighing in at a sprightly 13.5% alcohol, this is a claret-shaped, modern-day Douro diva and it offers the drinker a completely different flavour palette to any other medium-weight red wine I can think of.
Quinta da Leda is located in the far eastern reaches of the Douro Superior, just 12 kilometres from the Spanish border. The vineyards are planted on rolling hills with vertically fractured schistous soils, allowing the vine roots to hunt deep below ground to seek water in the often swelteringly hot Douro summers.
Winemaker Luís Sottomayor reports that the 2019 vintage is “a very good year, with freshness and great balance”, and it is the freshness and lift that makes this such a compelling wine. While I understand that 50% new French oak is employed here, it is hard to track it down because the depth of flavour in the plum, black cherry and Asian spice-drenched fruit is so focused and unshakable. This is a stellar vintage for Quinta da Leda, and if you have been following some of my recent WW articles (2020 Ornellaia, 2018 The Eye of Rã and so on), then this is yet another epic red to add to your collection. Interestingly, this is the least expensive of the big boys to win a mighty score in my notes, and it will age like clockwork, too. As a postscript, I opened up the forward-drinking 2017 vintage of Quinta da Leda late last year at a corporate event I was hosting. This was a very wine-savvy group, and I served it blind. Prior to the reveal, it was unanimously voted wine of the night (against very rare and expensive opposition). After the reveal, there was a frenzy of scribbling as the guests hurried to make a note of this wine’s name. I gave the 2017 vintage 17.5/20, so you can appreciate that I rate the 2019 vintage as one of the finest I have ever tasted!