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Pedra Nº 03 White Port NV

Producer: Pedra Alta
Region: Duoro
Country: Portugal
Classification: DOC
Wine Type: Fortified
Variety: 56% Rabigato, 32% Gouveio, 12% Viosinho
Bottle Size: 500 ml
Alcohol: 18%
Residual Sugar: 94 g/L
Soil: Schist
Farming Practices: Traditional and sustainable
Awards: 91-Jamie Goode; 90-Decanter
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Cellar Profile


In the heart of the Douro Valley’s Cima Corgo sub-region, you’ll find a winery that strikes a fine balance between tradition and modernity, elegantly showcasing the exciting breadth of offerings coming out of Portugal these days. Quinta da Pedra Alta is the longtime dream-come-true of a small group of family and friends from the United Kingdom, who purchased the historic property in 2018. Their 35 hectares of steep, terraced vineyards are the archetype Douro landscape, dramatically rising from the eponymous river that meanders through northern Portugal. Only indigenous Portuguese grapes — namely Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz for reds and Gouveio, Rabigato and Viosinho for whites — are planted on poor, schist-based soils. The winemaking is led by two young and dynamic individuals, João Pires from Portugal and Matt Gant from Australia. As is tradition in the area, all wines are blends and grapes are crushed via foot treading in granite lagares. Only wild yeasts are used in fermentation and oak aging is measured. Pedra Alta wines are at once powerful and refined, offering up loads of Douro Valley warmth alongside Old World structure and sophistication.

Region


Named after the river which runs throughout the Iberian peninsula before entering the Atlantic Ocean, the Douro region is best known for producing the fortified wine, Port. The past few decades have seen an uptick in the quantity and quality of unfortified wines, usually falling under the DOC Douro designation. The region’s vast array of native grapes are the ingredients for both Port and their unfortified counterparts, most notably Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) for reds, and Gouveio, Rabigato, Malvasia Fina and Viosinho for whites. The climate here is hot and dry, with steep terraced vineyards combining to produce extremely ripe grapes and subsequently full-flavoured, high alcohol wines.

Vineyard


Sourced from vineyards ranging from between 350 and 450 masl. Vines are between 15 and 26 years old, planted in schist dominant soils at a density of 4,000 plants per hectare. They are trained via single, double cordon and guyot methods.

Varieties


A blend of Rabigato, Gouveio and Viosinho. Rabigato adds bright acidity and salty minerality to blends alongside notes of acacia, orange blossom and white peach. Gouveio is now planted throughout Portugal with particularly significant plantings in Alentejo. Among its attributes: fresh acidity, bright citrus fruit and complex anise seed character.

Winemaking


Gentle handling and keeping the fruit and juice as cool as possible help preserve delicate aromatics and fresh flavours. Picked early in the morning, the grapes are whole-bunch pressed as soon as they arrive at the winery and the juice is drained off immediately before fermentation by wild yeasts at 15°C. After neutral spirit is added to stop the fermentation, the wine is matured sur lie in stainless steel tanks before blending and bottling. The unique character of this white port is derived from blending some of the best grapes on the estate to make the core of the blend from the current vintage combined with a splash of older material to provide balance and extra character.

Tasting Notes 


Pale straw in colour with explosive aromas of pink grapefruit, melon, mango and ripe peach. The palate is sweet and luscious, but with surprising freshness and some backbend tartness. Elegant and versatile, serve chilled with goat cheese, salted nuts or cheesecake. Or serve over ice as a Pedra Tonica – the winery’s version of the Portuguese classic Porto Tonico – with tonic water, a slice of orange and a sprig of mint. Also works as an alternative to gin in cocktails.