The Wine: Of all the birds in the Douro, the golden oriole (papa-figos in Portuguese) is one of the rarest. It’s an attractive, brightly-coloured migratory bird, unique and rare, and thus the perfect inspiration for this lovely wine from Casa Ferreirinha. Papa Figos is a red wine from the Douro, ideal for everyday drinking as well as for special occasions. It’s an elegant but vibrant wine, classic yet modern, conveying all the deep-set values of Casa Ferreirinha, the oldest producer of quality table wines in the Douro, and one of the main standard-bearers for the region throughout the world.
Tasting Notes: Papa Figos 2013 is is deep ruby-red in colour, almost purple. The aroma is intense, dominated by floral notes of gum cistus and violets, as well as lively red fruit such as plums and strawberries. There are also balsamic notes, cedar and menthol, combined with a discrete touch of well-integrated oak. It is full in body, with well-balanced acidity, good tannins and plenty of lively fruit. The finish is long, harmonious and elegant.
Harvest Year: The viticultural year of 2013, in contrast with 2012, was marked by a cold, rainy Winter, with precipitation above the average of the last 3 years. Notably, the vegetative cycle was late, in particular the flowering, which was somewhat irregular. Despite the improvement in the weather in the Summer months, which were hot and dry or extremely dry (the 6th driest summer since 1931), the vegetative cycle was delayed right up to the harvest, which started on average 8 to 10 days late. From the end of September onwards there were periods of rain, sometimes heavy, which particularly affected the areas where rainfall is typically more prevalent. Here it was necessary to take extra care.
Winemaking: The grapes selected for this wine come from the Douro Superior region, about 25% from Quinta da Leda and the rest from producers owning vineyards ideally facing north at relatively high altitude. After gentle destemming and crushing, the grapes are transferred into stainless steel tanks for the skin maceration and alcoholic fermentation. During this phase, intense maceration is achieved by the pumping-over method. The temperature is kept at around 25ºC by a system of refrigeration and/or warming. At the end of the maceration period, which varies from tank to tank depending on grape variety and quality of the year, the wine is run off the solids, the free-run wine being kept separate from the press wine. Malolactic fermentation is then encouraged in temperature-controlled conditions.
Maturation: Once the fermentations are over, the blend selected for Papa Figos 2013 remained in stainless steel tank throughout the whole Winter. During this time, owing to the naturally low temperatures, the wine gradually clears as the coarse particles settle out. At the end of the Winter, it underwent its first racking, the wine being run off the sediment. About 25% of the total of the blend spends approximately 8 months in used French oak barrels, and the final blend is bottled after 12 months.