In 2004, Esporão Reserva and Private Selection had achieved a balance and position that allowed us to think about new projects. We wanted to create a wine in limited quantities that was even better than Private Selection, and, due to the year’s characteristics, it was the right time to produce something with the quality we had envisaged. After three years ageing in the bottle, our first Torre, which was made mainly from Touriga Nacional grapes, was ready.

In 2007, the very cool spring meant our grapes ripened slowly and gradually, and the mild temperatures during the harvest were reflected in the wines’ aromas and flavours. This was one of the decade’s best years and gave origin to our second Torre, which was predominantly made from the Aragonez variety.

Climate and nature dictate when it is possible to make a wine like this, and these are the main factors that make a unique year. We waited until 2011 to produce Torre again. This year was marked by a very wet winter with major temperatures variations and unseasonal humidity, as well as problems controlling vine disease. However, the mild summer with cool evenings allowed even and unproblematic ripening, leading to top-quality grapes. It was important that temperatures in June weren’t too high, avoiding over-ripening. Temperatures should rise gradually and freshness is essential. This was a year with a mild June and July (compared to the previous 13 years), which was reflected in softer wines and a memorable year for Alentejo wines.

Torre 2011 is founded on three different grape varieties with unique characteristics, which we have been working on over the last 40 years in a more personalised fashion. The different soils in which we find the Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Touriga Franca (granite, schist and sandy loam) at Herdade do Esporão are essential in the wine’s identity and richness.

Torre’s quality is also reflected in the way the grapes are selected and how the wine is vinified. The harvest is done by grape variety, and the finest grapes are selected to be trodden in lagares. After alcoholic fermentation with temperature control in lagares (22º to 25ºC), basket pressing and malolactic fermentation in barrels, the wine is aged for 18 months in French and American oak and for three years in the bottle. It is made in small quantities, with only 4,055 bottles produced –750 ml (3,743) and 1.5 l (312).

Offering a different profile with each vintage, the most recent Torre boasts a dense, almost opaque colour. It is complex and concentrated with notes of black berries, hints of bitter chocolate liqueur and fresh mint, as well as well integrated spice and oak. On the palate it is profound, compact, creamy, dense and structured with a silky texture. The finish is long and full of personality.

The three Torres we have crafted are part of the same history – in their origin, the history of Herdade do Esporão. Whether in 2004, 2007 or 2011, we managed to find the fresher side of the vintage and the characteristics of each grape variety.

Vintage after vintage, the bar is raised higher. And it is rewarding, when we try the wine, to see the results of so much hard work and dedication. Now is the time to enjoy it while we wait for the next great year.