Private Selection red is a continuation of Esporão Garrafeira red which was launched back in 1987. Initially, this wine was a selection of the best barrels of Esporão reserve red, but in time, with a better understanding of our estate vineyards, evolved into a selection of the best vineyard parcels of several premium grape varieties. This has resulted in a wine with great fruit intensity and a powerful tannic structure, ensuring long term bottle ageing.
Label photograph by Duarte Belo.
Premium Gold – Wines of Portugal Challenge, 2019
A moist winter followed by a mild summer with great thermal amplitudes, which allowed the vines to perform well, allowing wines to be more balanced and intense.
Canto de Zé Cruz Vineyard (Aragonez) – Sandy loam soil with granite stone in the top 20 cm layer, clay below.
Telheiro Vineyard (Syrah) – Stony schist based skeletal soil.
Palmeiras Vineyard (Alicante Bouschet) – Deep clay soil with good drainage.
Each variety was vinified and aged separately. Syrah and Aragonez fermented in marble lagares with foot treading and pumping over. Alicante Bouschet fermented in small stainless-steel fermenters with regular pump overs. After pressing, the wines were kept separate, the malolactic fermentation occurring naturally in barrel.
Ageing was achieved in 30% new barrels and 70% used (1 year old), all French oak, a mix of 225 and 500 liter barrels. Ageing took place for 18 months, with one transfer following the malolactic fermentation. The final blend was made and bottled on 23rd June 2016, with no fining and only a light final filtration.
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.
Each variety has its origin in a distinct vineyard, with extra viticultural supervision (bunch thinning where necessary), leading to the best possible fruit.
Aragonez from Canto Zé Cruz, planted in 1980, one of our oldest vineyards. Normally this is the latest Aragonez parcel we pick, having the longest ripening period and good phenolic ripeness producing wines with perfume and intensity. Syrah from the Vinha do Telheiro vineyard planted in 1998. Berries are very small and oval shaped. Grape production from this vineyard is low resulting in wines with power and concentration. Alicante Bouschet from the Vinha das Palmeiras vineyard planted in 1996, on a gentle sloping hillside in Herdade dos Perdigões. Good fruit exposure and well drained soils contribute to nicely concentrated groats and intense wines.
David Baverstock and Sandra Alves
Deep, dark red.
Mature dark berry fruits, complex tabaco, chocolate and toasty notes.
Silky texture but equally compact, firm tannic structure to ensure persistence and longevity.
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