An anomaly in a region where most producers source their grapes, Casa de Santa Eufemia, a grower port estate, was founded in 1894 by Bemardo Rodrigues de Carvalho. Located on the left bank of the Douro, in one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world, Santa Eufemia is now run by the sibling duo, Pedro and Lucia Carvalho.
Growing grapes and producing port since the estate’s inception, it wasn’t until 1986 when Portugal joined the EU, that Casa de Santa Eufemia could legally vinify, bottle and sell or export the wine that it had been making for years.
Within the 30ha of field blends (of 20+ varietals) that are designated to the production of port wines, Pedro and Lucia cultivate varietals that are nearing extinction in Portugal, including Bastardo, Mourisco Tinto, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Carvalha.
In addition to the preservation of these grapes and more, the Carvalhos have also identified sub-plots within their vineyards, each known by the duo to produce specific colors, aromatics and structure, so that each sub-plot can be designated to a particular Tawny port. And though the foundations of the 20 and 30 year-old tawny ports were established long before Pedro and Lucia started making wine, Pedro says that they have “preserved the style that the house has been making all along.”
Ruby port is the most extensively produced type of port. After fermentation, it is stored in tanks made of stainless steel to prevent oxidative aging and preserve its rich claret color. The wine is usually blended to match the House style. Ruby color; red fruit aromas; in the mouth it is fresh with persistent tannins.
Tawny ports are wines, made from red grapes,that are aged in wooden barrels, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result, the wine mellows to a golden-brown color. The exposure to oxygen imparts "nutty" flavors to the wine, which is blended to match the house style. Brick color, dry fruit aromas with elegant notes of coffee and coconut, and a persistent mouth feel.
Fragrances of red and dry fruits compose a beautiful aromatic harmony, combining youth and aging. In the mouth, dry figs, nuts and resins in an elegant combination of both fresh and warm flavors. Long finish.