The Wine: Reserva Especial is a magnificent, mature red wine from the Douro, classic in style, complex, rich and charismatic. It was created more than 50 years ago, and remains one of the main pillars upon which the reputation of Casa Ferreirinha rests. It has few peers. Casa Ferreirnha was the first company to make fine, unfortified Douro wines, and today is still one of the main standard-bearers for the region around the world. This wine is made only in exceptional years. A total of only 16 vintages have been declared.
Tasting Notes: Reserva Especial 2007 is intensely coloured, almost opaque. Its delightful aroma is equally intense, reminiscent of really ripe red fruits and black plums. Spices such as cinnamon and clove, balsamic of cedar, tobacco box and “sous-bois” are also evident, allied with very well integrated notes from the barrel ageing. This is a wine of excellent structure, firm tannins of great quality, balanced by good acidity. The great intensity and complexity of this wine give an extremely long finish.
Harvest Year: 2007 was a particularly rainy year during the winter months, and rainfall was again above average in May and particularly in June, most especially in the Douro Superior. This meant that good water Reserva swere established – essential for good vine development. Ripening took place at normal temperatures for the region, in general with high temperatures alternating with some periods of intense rain, with the harvest taking place in good weather conditions. This was an ideal end to the vegetative cycle and promised wines of excellent quality
Winemaking: Reserva Especial was made at the Quinta da Leda winery, which is equipped with the most up-to-date vinification systems. The grapes were selected by hand in the vineyard or upon reception at the winery, and were then vinified variety by variety, or sometimes blended together. They were totally destemmed and gently crushed, then conveyed to stainless steel tanks or robotic lagars (shallow, open fermentation tanks) for skin maceration and the alcoholic fermentation, with intense pumping-over or plunging at controlled temperature. A long post-fermentation maceration allowed additional high-quality components in the ripe skins to pass into the wine.
Maturation: Wines destined potentially for Reserva Especial are transported to Vila Nova de Gaia imediately after maceration, and their «élevage» or ageing takes place during around a year to a year and a half (depending on the blend and the vessel in question) in new French oak barrels of 225 litre capacity. The final blend of Reserva Especial was put together based on a continual selection of the best wines after countless tastings and analyses carried out on the different blends and barrels during maturation. In order to maintain its very high quality, Reserva Especial was bottled without treatment, and thus it is quite natural for it to form a deposit in bottle.