There are few more iconic images in the world of wine than the...
‘Don’, the logo created for the Sandeman family in 1928 by George Massiot Brown. The cape was modelled on the attire worn by university students in Porto, while the wide-brimmed hat was a nod to the family’s presence in Jerez. Today, the wines are good enough to be every bit as famous as the image of the Don. Since Sogrape bought Sandeman in 2002, the major improvements and investment that have taken place in the vineyards and the winemaking has seen the wines rise to the top of the tree in Port. The production of Port – especially Tawny – requires patience and a long-term vision, something which explains why families like the Guedes are among the major players in the Port business today.
The soil in the Douro Valley is made up of schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. The vines are grown on terraces cut into the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. The terraces are walled with cut schist to prevent erosion, otherwise torrential rains would wash loose stones down the slopes and into the river. Each terrace can hold up to three rows of vines.
2016 will go down in history as a top-quality vintage. An unusual year in terms of weather, a mild and dry winter gave way to a persistently wet spring putting the potential for a high-quality harvest in doubt. A mild summer, with the occasional heatwave, rescued the vintage with a perfect diurnal temperature differences allowing the grapes to mature slowly.
The finest grapes from Sandeman’s best properties, Quinta do Seixo and Quinta do Vau, were destemmed and gently crushed before undergoing an intense maceration in temperature controlled, granite lagares. When the wine had reached a perfect balance treading stopped and fermentation was halted by fortification. Resting at Seixo over the winter, it was then racked and transported to Sandeman’s cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia where it was aged in oak casks. The final blend was made from a careful selection of the finest casks.
Opaque with an almost black colour, the wine has an intense, complex nose. Ripe black fruit, cocoa and chocolate flavours continue on to the palate where some floral notes of rockrose are also apparent in a long, lingering finish. Firm tannins, full-bodied and with fresh acidity, it has structure that will allow the wine to age comfortably for decades.
|Grape varieties||40% Touriga Franca
40% Touriga Nacional
10% Tinta Roriz
5% Tinto Cão
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.