92 pt Wine Enthusiast February 2017
Traditional port varieties, mainly 60% Touriga Nacional with the rest (40%) being mixed field planted vines from the older dry stone terraced vineyards at La Rosa.
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.
Very rich and complex on the nose where the aromas are so well integrated that they are lmost difficult to distinguish but where mature fruit flavours and floral notes dominate. On the palate the wine is generous, all encompassing and full bodied with very light touches of vanilla and nuttiness that contributes to the complexity and length of this beautiful wine. The fat, rich, soft tannins balanced the sweetness from the matured fruit. The La Rosa 2014 Reserve is a pure Douro wine, potent and well structured but at the same time elegant and very approachable.
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 caterpillar digs deep into the newly formed grape and forms its chrysalis. This mainly affected Touriga Franca. 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, and the top part of the Lamelas vineyard got quite badly hit. The vine leaves had huge holes taken out of them. We did lose about 20% of our crop but only in a small area around the Lamelas house. 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). 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. For few days the rain was for longer and heavier and we stopped picking. The harvest ended up in being very drawn out and we ended up finishing picking on 9th October.
QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENT
We practice a sustainable agricultural regime being part of ADVID & SATIVA. We don’t use genetically modified organisms nor do we use animal products so vegetarians can drink our wines. We recycle where possible and are HACCP & BRC rated.
MATURATION AND BOTTLING
The wine was first trodden by foot in granite lagares and then fermented in small stainless steel vats and matured in Allier French oak casks, mainly Francois Freres, Taransaud and Seguin Moreau, before being bottled in August 2016. We have 37,5cl, 75cl, magnums and larger formats available.