Traditional grape varieties are sourced from the Quinta do Retiro estate and neighbouring growers in the Rio Torto Valley. Here old vines are planted in schistous soils. Fermentation is in open granite tanks called 'lagares', where the grapes are trodden by foot. Fermentation is interrupted by the addition of grape spirit to preserve a certain degree of natural sweetness. Aged for around 2 years in 547 litre oak barrels (the traditional 'pipe') and larger casks. Then bottled (unfiltered) and aged for several more years before release.
Retaining a deep and youthful colour, the nose has intense black fruit characters, with notes of sweet spices, liquorice and vanilla. The palate has structure and concentration, with rich, ripe plum and cherry flavours, more spice and firm tannins. It is drinking well now, but still has many years ahead.
Great with blue and mature cheese, with nuts.