Esporão Private Selection Red is a continuation of Esporão ‘Garrafeira’ Red which was first launched in 1987. Initially, it was a selection of the best barrels of Esporão Reserva Red but, with time and a better understanding of our own grapes, the wine evolved into a selection of the best parcels from our estate vineyards. At the end of the 90’s decade, we built a boutique winery exclusively for producing this wine, giving it the care and attention it deserved. Private Selection is our concept of the classic Alentejo ‘Garrafeira’: intense, complex and with rich aromatics without excesses and a well balanced palate with structure for long term ageing.
2013 had a rainy Spring followed by a dry Summer with high temperatures during the day, offset by chilly evenings, allowing consistently ideal ripening of grapes.
Canto do Zé Cruz vineyard – The soils are clay-loam with stony outcrops of granite.
Telheiro vineyard – The soil is of schistous origin, stony and skeletal.
Palmeiras vineyard – Deep clay soils.
Each variety was vinified and aged separately. Syrah and Aragonez were fermented in small open stainless steel fermenters, with regular pumpovers and foot treading employed during the fermentation phase. Alicante Bouschet is fermented in a small static closed fermenter with regular pumpovers. This is a milder fermentation regime because of the softer skin of this variety and the potential for over extraction. After pressing, the varieties are kept separate to assess their quality potential. Malolactic fermentation takes place naturally in the barrel.
Ageing takes place in 30% new and 70% used one year old 225 liter French oak barrels. After 18 months ageing, with only one transfer after the completion of the malolactic fermentation, the final blends are made. Bottling was done on 25th June 2015 with only a light pre filtration and no fining.
Esporão Private Selection Red is an extension of Esporão Garrafeira Red, which was first launched in 1987. Initially, we simply chose the best barrels of Esporão Reserva; however, over time, we began to understand our vineyards better, naturally developing a selection of the finest plots at the Herdade. At the end of the 1990s, we built a winery exclusively for this wine, which became the focus of our attention. In 2001, Esporão Private Selection White was produced, which was designed to challenge the classic profile of great wines from the Alentejo.
Its solid structure, personality and complexity are the result of climactic conditions, the selection of the finest grapes from our terroir and our winemakers’ creativity. These are exclusive wines, made in small quantities for intense and intimate moments.
Every year we invite an artist to illustrate its labels, thus combining the Portuguese culture of winemaking with art.
The blend is predominantly Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez and Syrah. Each variety is grown in a distinct part of our estate vineyards where, with a more concise viticultural approach, we can achieve a pure expression of each variety. Aragonez originates in the ‘Canto do Zé Cruz’ vineyard, planted in 1980. The soils are clay-loam with stony outcrops of granite. Perhaps because of its age, this is the last of the Aragonez parcels to be harvested, allowing for a longer phenolic maturation period and a wine with perfume and vibrancy. Syrah comes from the ‘Telheiro’ vineyard planted in 1998. The soil is of schistous origin, stony and skeletal. Berries are very small and oval shaped, and because of the poor nature of the soil, yields are extremely low, resulting in wines of great power and concentration. Alicante Bouschet originates from the ‘Palmeiras’ vineyard in the neighbouring Perdigões estate and was planted in 1996. It is a hillside vineyard with deep clay soils. Despite this variety being a high yielder, the exposition of this vineyard and good drainage conditions, coupled with bunch thinning, allows for more balanced yields with concentrated berries and wines with great intensity.
David Baverstock and Sandra Alves
Deep, dense dark red.
Dark berry fruits, mainly blackberries, mocha and dark chocolate notes, smoke and leather complexity.
Deep and dense fruit on palate, creamy texture, good supporting tannin structure, long and persistent finish.
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