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On translating ‘Barca do Inferno’ we got “boat from hell” so we asked owner and winemaker Francisco why the strange name for a wine:
“The name appeared in my mind in the 2014 vintage. It was a really difficult vintage, I lost the majority of my grapes due to heavy rain. Only 3 varieties survived that ‘Inferno’—Cabernet, Sousão and Arinto—they were my boat that got me across the vintage and the wine is now my best seller.”
It’s easy to see why it’s Francisco’s best seller. A 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and rustic Port-grape Sousão, the grapes are crushed by foot as tradition demands in this part of Portugal. French and American oak is used for maturation, up to 12 months in barrel with further time in bottle, resulting in a rich, full-bodied Reserva. The fruit is dark—blackberries, dates, black cherries—with savoury notes of coffee, dark chocolate, star anise, pencil shavings and vanilla, all enveloped by chocolate powder tannins and with a long, Porty finish. It’s the opposite of hell, it’s divine!
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