Barca Velha is the epitome, the pinnacle, the unquestionable symbol of the highest quality of Douro wines. Classic, intense, complex, elegantand rich it has also been, since its creation in 1952, the most celebrated Portuguese wine. Barca Velha is the basis upon which Casa Ferreirinha ́s reputation has grown, the latter being the quality brand in the Douro and one of its main world-wide standard-bearers. Barca Velha is declared only in truly exceptional years (17 in all).
VARIETIES: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão
DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: DOC Douro
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Portugal
WINEMAKER: Luís Sottomayor
Barca Velha 1991 has a bright red, deep and very intense hue. The prevailing aromas are those of very ripe fruit (blackberry, plum, cassis), flowers (violet), spices (vanilla, pepper), balsam (cedar) and aromas made more complex through evolution in the bottle, such as pharmacy and iodine. On the palate it has an excellent balance between alcohol and acidity, as a result of the careful selection and blending of native varieties, and it has a lingering, fine, elegant and delicate finish.
Barca Velha is vinified at the Quinta da Leda wine centre, where the selected grapes are vinified by variety or in lots, hand-chosen at the vineyard and/or on arrival at the wine centre. The grapes, after full stem-removal and soft crushing are moved into stainless steel vats and/or robot-operated presses, for maceration and alcoholic fermentation, with intense pumping-over, under automatically controlled temperature. A long maceration was performed to allow the quality components of the ripe grape skins to pass into the wine. Finally, and at the moment required by each variety/blend, the wine was stored and the masses pressed, with the wine resulting from pressings kept apart from the remaining yield.
Wines that potentially make up Barca Velha are taken to V.N. Gaia immediately after maceration and undergo maturation for about a year and a year-and-a-half (depending on the blend and the barrel) in 225 litre, in new French oak-wood hogsheads. Barca Velha is made from a continuous selection of the best wines, the result of the numerous tastings and analyses of the different blends and barrels. To preserve its topmost quality the wine is bottled with no prior treatment. Natural deposit may develop.
Ideally the bottle should be placed upright overnight and opened 2 to 3 hours before serving. After so many years in the bottle the wine should be carefully decanted in order to separate its natural deposit. Serve between 16oC-18oC.