Passagem Red Reserve
Quinta de Bandeiras is a 100 hectare property located on the River Douro near Pocinho right opposite the famous Vale Meão. Until Vale Meão became well known in its own right, its grapes went into producing Barca Velha, the Vega Sicilia of Portugal. So Bandeiras’s location couldn’t have been more perfect.
Bought by the Bergqvist family (Quinta de la Rosa), the wine is called PASSAGEM and is a joint venture between Jorge Moreira (wine maker) and the Bergqvists.
70% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 5% Sousão.
It is very interesting to compare the two different terroirs and regions of the Douro. The wines from la Rosa have a greater minerality whilst the Douro Superior produces fruitier, aromatic, more expressive wines. Jorge successfully manages to keep the freshness and balance in these.
2017 was another exceptional year of great quality with a fully declared vintage port year being declared generally. On the nose, the wine shows attractive concentrated, mature fruit with notes of aromatic herbs giving it great complexity. On the palate, the wine is robust and vigorous with balanced tannins and wonderful quality. A wine that is still young with great ageing potential.
It was a dry, hot year for much of Europe and the same for Portugal. Forest fires ravaged the countryside as everything was dry as a tinderbox. Vintaging started the earliest in living memory on 17th August (the day of my parents 60th wedding anniversary) when we picked the white at Bandeiras in the Douro Superior moving onto some of the red soon after. Those vineyards that were low altitude and south facing suffered the most.
Temperatures were at 40C+ and there were initial signs of water stress and some dehydration. There was no rain forecast – the last time it has rained was the last week of June. A week later temperatures dropped so Jorge decided stop picking Bandeiras for a week. The marginally fresher weather helped maturation giving the grapes better aromas and more complexity of flavour. We finished picking Bandeiras on 4th September when we would normally be starting!
Alcohol levels tended to be higher and acidities lower than normal. But there was very little evidence of over maturity and resulting jammy flavours. It turned out to be an exceptional year.
Quality & Environment
We practice a sustainable agricultural regime being part of ADVID & SATIVA. We don’t use genetically modified organisms nor do we use animal products so vegetarians can drink our wines. We recycle where possible and are HACCP & BRC rated.
Maturation and Bottling
The wine was matured in Allier French oak casks, mainly Francois Freres, Taransaud and Seguin Moreau, for 18 months before being bottled in August 2019.