© Quinta de la rosa 2013
Vale do Inferno Reserve
Vale do Inferno Reserve DOC 2014
94 points Wine Enthusiast, Jan 2017
93+ points Wine Advocate September 2017
From the 4 hectares of vine, only 4 barrels were selected to make thus were made of this wine of exceptional quality. Wine maker, Jorge Moreira, only intends to make this wine in truly exceptional years. The last time was in 2005 and we will not be making another Vale do Inferno for at least the next two years.
Vale do Inferno boasts some of the highest and most impressive dry stone terrace walls in the Douro. With its prime position, sitting just above the Douro River, this four hectare vineyard was built by Sophia’s great grandfather, Albert Feueheerd, just before the First World War. The name Vale do Inferno originates from the intense heat that comes from the reflection of the suns rays off the terrace walls. As a result, the vineyard’s fruit is always highly concentrated and powerful. Vale do Inferno was replanted in 2006 and is beginning to produce some excellent grapes.
Mainly Touriga Nacional with some Sousão.
The wine would be best served with red meats and more powerful dishes. It also goes well with cheese, especially the Serra cheese found in Portugal. It is a wine that can be drunk now or aged for up to 10 years.
The terroir in the Douro is still largely unexplored and by making wines with, harmony and equilibrium from our vineyards, we try to enable the grapes to express themselves in the bottle. The La Rosa style is to make well defined wines without too much extraction, tannin or oak. Wines that are rich and full bodied whilst being fresh and lively with a good acidity and minerality.
Similar but more intense than the La Rosa Reserve, the Vale do Inferno Reserve has a profound, opaque colour which immediately shows the intensity of the originating vineyard. A wine with deep, rich and exuberant aromas and with mysterious, dark black fruit, mainly blackberry and plum, together with fresh violets and a lightly toasted, slightly smokey flavour. On the palate the wine is very generous and seductive, full of structure. It has enormous concentration but at the same time is full of freshness and liveliness. The Vale do Inferno Reserve is a Douro wine of great quality with potential to age well in the bottle. It is a very serious wine – one that is impossible not to enjoy and appreciate!
The vineyard stood up surprisingly well to a challenging year. The flowering was late and then the Douro suffered from caterpillar attacks and oidium. The summer seemed to be marginally cooler and wetter than normal with numerous thunderstorms but the meteorological data shows otherwise and we seemed to have had a pretty normal, hot summer. There were plenty of hail storms, especially in the early summer. In general the vine recuperated quite impressively.
By mid August we were looking at a two week delay in starting the vintage at La Rosa. But a few days of intense heat brought the grapes on with a great spurt and suddenly some were ripe. We picked the more delicate Touriga Franca first starting slowly on 25th September (relatively late for recent years) and then Vale do Inferno. We had a few days of blissful sunshine but then thunderstorms built up and we ended up having rain almost every afternoon over a two week period.
MATURATION AND BOTTLING
The wine was first trodden by foot in granite lagares and then fermented in small stainless steel vats. Matured in French oak casks, before being bottled in July 2017.