Quinta Del La Rossa Vintage Port 2011
2011 Vintage is likely to be seen as one of the best ports for many decades. Jorge says it is the most impressive he has made at La Rosa in the last decade and I cannot remember tasting anything so spectacular since we started in 1988. It is always a challenge to taste young vintage ports. The 2011 is showing perfect balance. The colour, dense and black, is supported by fabulous rich blackcurrant fruit and an incredible complexity and length on the palate with liquorice and spice. There is power and at the same time elegance.
All our ports are made in the ‘house style’ namely slightly drier without any cloying sweetness that is often associated with ports. As in our wines, we search for harmony and equilibrium from our vineyards and 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 and tannin.
An almost tropically hot spring followed a particularly wet, rainy winter which provoked a huge amount of growth and vegetation in the vineyard and ultimately led to one of the earliest vintages ever. The summer months were dry and hot. Two days of rain at the end of August gave us ideal conditions for the grapes to ripen and develop. We started vintaging on 9th August and then stopped and started throughout much of the following two months enabling us to pick each vineyard at its ‘optimum’ ripeness. Conditions were perfect.
We ended up producing some excellent grapes with outstanding quality and concentration.
MATURATION AND BOTTLING
The port was trodden by foot in granite lagares for three to four days with temperature control.. The more complex lotes of 2011 were kept for 16 months in wooden oak 25 pipe tonels before being blended. The port will be bottled in April 2013.
Traditional port varieties, mainly Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca with some Souzão from the older dry stone terraced vineyards at La Rosa.
The 2011 Vintage will age well for many decades. But it is also approachable and can be consumed as a young vintage port. Drink as a digestif with cheese, chocolates or on its own.