© Quinta de la rosa 2013
Vale do Inferno Reserve
Vale do Inferno Reserve DOC 2015
94 Cellar Selection - Wine Enthusiast - April 2019
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.
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.
Vale do Inferno is a unique wine which shows the Douro at its extremes where the vines struggle and fight to survive but in such conditions produce fruit that is so beautiful and special.
On the nose the wine is very complex and expressive, black and red fruits, floral and citric notes make up part of its bouquet. On the palate, there is an intense attack, full of flavours, very seductive and mellow. The presence of tannins of great quality give the wine length and seriousness.
The fabulous quality of the grapes this year took everyone by surprise. We didn’t have the ideal meteorological conditions to indicate it was going to be a great year so we were really pleased with the beautiful grapes that came into the winery. The winter and spring was dry with little rain. Stable weather allowed for good flowering so production was always forecast to be abundant (good news after two relatively small years). The summer was hot. There was little rain and few storms, apart from a huge one in May. So by August the vines were under intense water stress and their leaves were browning – especially younger vines with shallower roots. But the good news was that the fruit stood up well to this stress so that grape in almost perfect condition came into the winery.
The vintage was long and slow. Jorge always says that the most important decision he makes every year is when to pick and this year wasn’t that easy. We started picking Vale do Inferno two days into the vintage on 9th September before the rains came.
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 225L casks, before being bottled in December 2017.