Quinta de la Rosa White Port NV
Grape Varietals: Viosinho, Gouveia, Rabigato & Malvasia Fina
Growing Region: Douro Valley - Portugal
Head Winemaker: Jorge Moreira
4 Stars ★★★★
In the summer of 2017 - I made my way back to the Douro Valley - a dramatic and challenging wine region - (and arguably one of mankind’s most incredible achievements) having tamed these rugged mountains of rock. And producing a complex array of character filled wines.
For the week, I based myself at the stunning estate Quinta de la Rosa - situated in the heart of the Alto Douro on the bank of the Douro River just a short distance from the small town of Pinhão.
Their reputation for excellent Port’s and quality still wines are with few equals. The winemaking team is directed by my good friend Jorge (who again in 2017 was awarded ‘Winemaker of the Year’) - so it was great to be able to spend some time and taste a few wines with him. La Rosa craft small quantities of high quality Ports - and with it being summer, this review looks at their White Port - a first class aperitif style wine.
This White Port was made in the traditional manner in their granite Lagares. As the white grapes came into the winery - the first pressings were taken off to be made into white wine. Then as the pH starts to rise, the last (approximately 10%) portion of the juice is drawn off into stainless steel tanks, to be made into White Port. When the fermenting juice gets down to around 1ºBaume, ‘grape spirit’ is added to stop the fermentation and retain the natural sugars. The White Port is then stored in small wooden casks and matured in their own lodge at La Rosa. The White Port is blended from stocks held at the estate and has an average age of 2-3 years. Unlike most Port shippers, all products are stored and bottled in the Douro (at La Rosa and not in Porto), reducing handling and ensuring added quality from grape to bottle.
• This White Port has been lightly filtered with no fining (so vegan friendly) and requires no decanting. This White Ports is made in their ‘house style’ namely slightly drier - so without any cloying sweetness on the palate or finish. A quality aperitif style wine, this is a beautiful pale gold, white honey colour. An inviting summer aroma expressing citrus notes, crisp apples, green pears and white floral notes. It shows vibrant fruit on the palate, pip & tropical fruits like a firm pineapple, but at the same time has a long and relatively dry finish, typical of the style you find at La Rosa.
This Quinta de La Rosa White Port has 19.5% Alc./vol. (with around 25g/L residual sugar). Serve chilled in a dessert wine glass at 8°- 10°C - or as a cocktail. After being opened, store chilled & enjoy within 2 - 3 weeks.
• Treat yourself to a White Port-Tonic this summer - (make it like a Gin & Tonic in a narrow highball - 1 part White Port & 2 parts Tonic and use a slice of orange, kiwi-fruit, a sweet lemon or lime).
Drinking perfectly well this season; and will hold for another 2 - 3 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with seafood tapas, marinated olives, vibrant dips served with thin crusty bread, rich creamy cheeses and cold fresh fruit desserts & sorbet - enjoy.