Maritavora Reserva Branco
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Quinta da Maritávora was founded in the mid 19th century in the Upper Douro. Today, it is still a family-owned and operated winery, making it one of the oldest such operations in Portugal. Between 1870 and 2003, the estate operated as a grower for the port shipper Cockburns, selling all of its fruit for Port wine production. In 2003, Manuel Gomes Mota, the great great grandson of the estate’s founder, took control of the estate, and quickly shifted the focus of the winery. Because of its higher altitude and distance from the Coa river, Mota believed (correctly, in hindsight) that the vineyards would be better suited to unfortified production. With its cool growing season and significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature deltas, Mota is able to preserve freshness and acidity in his fruit, along with significantly longer hangtime than his neighbors to the south of the DOC.
Now much more focused on table wines, the ethos of this tiny estate is based upon the idea of preserving both heritage and terroir of the Douro, exemplified by organic farming, minimal intervention winemaking, and the use of exclusively indigenous varietals. Foot pigeage, indigenous yeasts, and fermentation in cement lagares are all part of the picture at Maritávora.
The Branco Reserva is a field blend from a variety of plots, including one of the original plantings from the founder, José Junqueiro. It includes a number of “resurrected” varietals, grapes that were nearly extinct and re-established by the viticultural team at the winery. It is a powerful, rich blend that clearly shows its vine age with remarkable intensity.
What makes this wine unique?
This is a traditional Douro field blend from vineyards dating back to the early 20th century. Organic viticulture and minimal intervention winemaking provide a clear expression of terroir, and 100+ vines lend concentration and intensity.
30% C?dega do Larinho, 30% Rabigato, 30% Viosinho, 10% Gouveio (Godello). Organically farmed vineyards planted from 1890-1915. Vineyards tended in rocky schist at 500m altitude.
Roast pork or poultry, root vegetables and mushrooms, well-aged cheese.
Vinification and ageing
Hand harvested and barrel fermented in French oak. Aged in new French oak for 7 months with 3 months of battonage.
Location, Soil, Climate
Maritávora is located in the Upper Douro, near the border with Spain. Vineyards are planted at 500m elevation in rocky schist. The climate is continental, with significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature differences – as much as 35 degrees during the growing season. Rainfall averages 600mm/yr. Temperature April-October is 67.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yellow-gold. Aromas of orchard fruit, caramel, wet stone and fresh quince. Elegant and complex on the palate, with rapidly evolving flavors of pear, golden apple and quince overlaid with vanilla, spice and saline-inflected minerality. Intense and concentrated, with a good bit of power. Decant when young.