The wines produced from the vintage of 2014 are excellent. The weather conditions during spring and early summer were dry and above average heat degree-days regulated shoot growth and berry development. By mid February and well into veraison, soil moisture levels were extremely low but a record-breaking rain event replenished the soils. The weather conditions that followed were ideal. ‘Balanced’ probably best describes most wines from our harvest this year.
The Touriga vineyard is located on our Gnadenfrei Estate. Planted in 1985, this is the Nacional selection [as opposed to Francesa]. The vineyard aspect is east facing and assists with shelter from the afternoon heat and direct sunlight. The soils are weathered brown clay with shallow pink quartzite forming many of the conglomerates scattered along the vineyardfloor.
The winemaking and élevage [maturation] was encouraged to express a medium to light bodied fragrant red wine. The fruit was harvested with a low baume of 12.2, the fruit was destemmed and crushed into an open top fermenter. The ferment was allowed to reach much higher than normal temperatures maintaining a minimum of 28oC through most of the fermentation. The ferment cap was managed by daily pump-overs combined with plunging. Once dry the wine was immediately pressed to tank and racked off gross lees to seasoned French Hogsheads and Pungeons.