Quinta do Tedo offer 3 Douro DOC red wines: Douro DOC, Douro DOC Reserva and Douro DOC Grande Reserva Savedra. All of these wines are produced at Quinta do Tedo with estate-grown indigenous grapes (bio-certification starting with part of the 2010 harvest), to include touriganacional, touriga franca, tinta roriz and tinto cão.
We do not look for the same grape characteristics for table wine as for porto, and great vintage port years are not necessarily great table wine years. For table wine grapes we look for less ripeness, no over ripeness, a very good balance between fruit and acidity and a tannin structure that will give a long finish to the wine. The date of optimal maturation is determined scientifically by analysis, and also by sampling and tasting in the vineyard to decide when the harvest begins.
We hand pick the grapes, from parcel to parcel, and the table wine harvest starts in the first or second part of September, in general one week before the port grape harvest. After the picked grapes arrive from the vineyard manual sorting takes place on a large stainless steel table, for added quality control, then the grapes are mechanically destemmed and crushed, and then placed in stainless steel refrigerated tanks.
The wine’s aging includes malolactic fermentation in 225/228 L oak barrels, to soften the wine by micro-oxidation of the grape’s tannin. The oak aging adds a different tannin not found in the grapes, stabilizes the already intense color, broadens the wine’s structure and lengthens the wine’s finish. During the 9 to 24 months of aging, depending on the wine, we top off regularly to compensate the wine’s water content evaporation through the wood, that results in natural concentration of the wine’s aroma and flavor. After 9 to 10 months we will taste from each barrel to evaluate the year, and to determine which barrels will be used for the Douro Doc and if possible which barrel lot with more concentration will merit an additional 14 to 15 months of aging for our Reserva or Grande Reserva Savedra. This is our internal quality control to respect our customers: Douro DOC every year; and in addition for very good years we also produce Douro Doc Reserva OR in outstanding years Douro Doc Grande Reserva Savedra.
All of our wines can be enjoyed young, due to the soft and mouth filling fruit, and the Douro DOC is best from 2 ½ to 4 years from harvest; Douro Doc Reserva 3 ½ to 5 years after harvest and the Grande Reserva Savedra 4 ½ to ? after harvest.
Note: after a tasting in Portugal by a couple of Bordeaux Grand Cru winemakers, we were surpised that they insisted an even exchange of cases of our Grande Reserva Savedra 2005, bottle to bottle!