Quinta do Vale Meão Soalheiro – Alma Mater

Papa Figos white 2015 and Papa Figos red 2014

Text João Barbosa | Translation Bruno Ferreira

The repetition of words or Latin rhymes always makes me think of magic. I do not know what books I’ve been reading or movies I’ve been watching. Well, here goes:

– Oriolus oriolus.

It’s the Latin name of orioles (papa-figos), a beautiful common bird of Europe that can even be seen in a part of Asia, flies to Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

It is a little bird with friendly air that my urban eyes cannot identify without the help of those who know. In addition to being friendly it is also beautiful. I’m not an ornithologist and let’s leave it at that because the topic is not about birds.

The Papa Figos are a couple of Douro wines. A few days ago Casa Ferreirinha (Sogrape) presented the new editions. The white is from 2015 and the red is from 2014. If the orioles are a joy to behold, the Papa Figos give a good gastronomic pleasure.

When I say gastronomic I’m not simply refering to the table, but to the whole gastro meaning. A greek word that means stomach. Today I look like a sage. I have written Latin and now Greek.

That is, both the red as the white (especially this one) are desirable in the summer. But I have to make a warning. The red has an alcohol content of 13.5%. At this time of the year, which asks for lighter foods and the beach asks for dives, I recommend caution.

It’s a red that has natural freshness, something we already know can deceive us. Moreover, in the heat, when it’s easy for the wines to become soup they should be freshened up. I usually leave them cooler than the usually recommended 16 degrees. This is because they heat up fast. Though the night may be the most suitable time of the day, the summer is often unfair to oenophiles.

Back to the reason why I said that it is globally gastronomic. It’s because it is easy to drink on one of those conversation nights with no set time to finish. During the vacation, whenever I can I relax with friends I cannot always hang out with during the work weeks, due to the short hours.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Papa Figos-red

Papa Figos red – Photo Provided by Sogrape | All Rights Reserved

Blend-All-About-Wine-Papa Figos-white

Papa Figos white – Photo Provided by Sogrape | All Rights Reserved

The white is more restrained regarding alcohol. It has a healthy 12.5%. And to think that not many years ago the products let the whites’ vintages skid. This is not me saying that they should always have low alcohol volume, because there are nectars that are looking good.

There is one more reason as to why this wine fell on my grace: The Touriga Franca, omnipresent, or almost, in the Douro reds. Here represents 30% of the blend. The Tinta Barroca has the same percentage and the Tinta Roriz 15%. The Touriga Nacional (I prefer the Douro one compared to the Dão), provides a sweet tooth that I appreciate, without ever making it cloying. It’s sober and represents 15%.

The grapes came from the Douro Superior and were grown mainly on slopes facing north and higher up in the mountain. The maceration is done in stainless steel vats as well as the alcoholic fermentation. A forth of the batch aged for eight months in French oak barrels. The bottling took place a year after the grape harvest.

The white was made with the grape varieties Rabigato (50%), Viosinho (20%), Arinto (18%) and Moscatel Galego (5%). The fruit came also from the Douro Superior, at high areas. A fifth of the batch aged for three months in used barrels of French oak. The remainder was kept in stainless steel tanks.

And that’s it! Good vacation to anyone going and the continuation of good working days for those staying.

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About João Barbosa
Wine Writer Blend | All About Wine

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