The will of one family can overcome all obstacles. When Joaquim Cálem inherited Quinta da Ferradosa, situated in the best area of Douro Superior, the land was dry, remote and uninhabitable. Fulfilling his father’s will, he rebuilt the old house, nurtured and extended the vineyards and extracted some of the most fascinating red wines among the ones proudly produced by the region.
There are stories like this… that start auspiciously and have a very happy ending. The Quinta da Ferradosa novel goes back to the 19th century, when the estate was part of the heritage of the Borges’ family, founder of a good memory bank in Portugal. It was, then, acquired by the Real Companhia Velha, our oldest Oporto Wine producer’s company, and next by Joaquim Manuel Calem, the owner of A.A. Calem & Filho Ldª, one of the great exporters of Oporto wine.
The patriarch had great expectations for the estate, which he failed to fulfill. Upon his death in 2006, the estate was inherited by one of his sons who took over the dream of restoring Quinta da Ferradosa to its former glory.
The estate has 350 hectares, 15 of which are vineyards. The prevailing vines are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz, which were enriched in 2013 by Alicante Boushet, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Shiraz vineyards. Its location, on the north bank of the river places it among the elite of the illustrious Casas do Douro, like Quinta do Vesúvio or Vale Meão.
After profound remodeling to restore the old house and improve the cellar, a miracle happened in a very short period of time: 8 thousand bottles of wine that drew the awe of the critics and the passion of the connoisseurs.
João Paulo Martins has largely praised them in his annual wine guide, the most revered one in Portugal. The 2014 edition places the 2011 Quinta da Ferradosa red on the top 10 of the best DOC (designation of origin) Douro wines! And the following presentations of these magnificent wines were amazing.
The 2012 Quinta da Ferradosa red welcomes a new homage of the critic, by its “well defined aroma” and “good hints of very ripe but elegant fruit with no extraction excesses”. Here is a wine “polished and smooth”, with a “surprising ensemble proportion”.
The 2013 Quinta da Ferradosa is praised by the “great chromatic harmony (…) in a very positive dialogue between fruit and wood (…) inserted here very carefully to avoid disrupting the ambience.” João Paulo Martins has given both wines the excellent score of 16,5.
The delight of tasting a wine with great character overcomes by far the enumeration of its organoleptic virtues. For the best wines steer the memories of people and the dreams of generations. The Quinta da Ferradosa red wines possess that evanescent, yet definitive, feature of a promise that has been fulfilled and spreads its happiness over us.