Viticulture & Oenology
Grape from the foot of Serra da Gardunha. The vineyard has 9 hectares and gave us a production of 6 tons per hectare. This small harvest brings us a high concentration in the grape produced. Increases aromatic components and important acids. Consequently, the qualitative potential of the final result increases.
The soil is granitic. It gives us minerality and generates a structured acidity. The concentrated tannins are enhanced and we already know that we will have a great aging in the bottle later.
In 2016, the vineyard is 15 years old.
The grapes were harvested by hand with a thorough selection to ensure maximum health and thus extreme quality. This happened in early September 2016.
The grapes were harvested in the morning and processed after lunch. They were first destemmed and the mesh was placed in a 500 liter vat. We put about 5% of the stalks back into the vat.
The fermentation of the mesh started with indigenous yeasts 2 days after the harvest. The open vat allowed us to "lay the blanket down" three to four times a day during the fermentation period. This process is also known as punch down or pigeage. It serves to keep the top layer wet and to maximize the extraction of color pigments and tannins.
Thus preparing again an excellent potential for a prolonged aging in the bottle.
The red varieties Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira co-fermented with about 5% of
Arinto. We thus reinforce the fruity aromas of this extraordinary wine. After 5 days all the sugar in the grape was fermented. I have rarely seen such an exemplary and smooth fermentation.
Maturation took place in a French oak barrel that had already been used for white wine for 5 years. It guaranteed us a micro-oxygenation of the wine without much marking the wine with notes of wood. Thus, we preserve the varietal notes and the elegance of the final result.
During the aging in wood, the barrel was in my parents' yard in Perais, only covered by a terrace and protected by a wall to the west. The wine spent the winter there and the first months of intense heat in 2017.
The Ensaio was bottled without any fining or filtration. The bottling happened in May 2017. It was made by hand right next to the barrel that was never used again and now serves as a tasting table.
As the whole fermentation, maturation and bottling process took place in the courtyard of my dear Parents, they deserve a great deal of merit for the production of this wine. Even though they are proud of the final result, they are happy to have their yard back.