Casa Ferreirinha 2008 - Barca-Velha 750 ml.
Portugal - Douro
Tinta Roriz - Tinto Cao - Touriga
Red - Vintage: 2008 - Size: 750 ml.
For more than 250 years, Ferreira has been synonymous with high-quality Portuguese wine, and known around the world as "the Portuguese brand." Ferreira was founded in 1751, and under the direction of Dona Antonia Adelaide became the reference point for exceptional ports and Douro wines. Today, Ferreira continues to be a global market leader, and the symbol of a country and a culture.
The 2008 Barca Velha, the latest release of this late-released wine, is a blend of 50% Touriga Franca, 30% Touriga Nacional, 10% Tinta Roriz and 10% Tinto C‹o. This is a classic 2008, crisp and elegant, radically different this year than the richer 2007 Reserva Especial (basically the same wine but for designation--that could've been designated as Barca Velha, too). After being opened about 18 hours previously, this showed rather well, but you may not find it quite as approachable if you don't give it some air. When you do approach it, be prepared to take more than a taste. It is easy to underestimate. Graceful in the mid-palate, with lifted fruit on the finish, its most notable feature is its finesse. It is a classic 2008 in that regard--dripping with grace, showing fine structure and impeccable balance. It seems simply effortless. Not particularly expressive or fruity in its youth, this tightens a bit as it airs out. The structure will allow it to age, although the mid-palate concentration is not nearly as impressive. As a typical 2008, that is to be expected to a considerable extent--this vintage never made its bones by mid-palate fleshiness or richness. Call it a Burgundy lover's vintage in Douro. On its own terms, this is pretty fine. Still a touch closed, this understated Barca Velha has considerable potential for improvement in the cellar. I'm still not sure it will have quite the aging curve that these wines ordinarily do, but they all hold rather well. There are about 700 bottles available for the USA out of a total of 18,000 produced.
Wine Enthusiast: 94
A full-bodied red driven by both power and elegance, featuring dried blackberry, cassis, iron and bay leaf notes encased in well-sculpted tannins, this is nicely balanced, with details of leather, licorice and coffee defining the long finish. Decant. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases made.
Wine Spectator: 100
This is the latest release of what has long been regarded as Portugal's iconic wine. And it is magnificent. The last vintage was the 2004 and the wait has now shown to be worthwhile. With its immense span and breadth of flavors and rich structure it is a superb manifestation of the great vineyards of the Douro Superior. Big bold fruits and acidity are matched by the tannins and concentration. Hold this for many years or at least wait until 2022.