The New Douro
A while ago, Portugal was due to be the Next Big Thing; it had the grapes, the terroirs, the heritage. It had reinvented itself and the world was looking for something new.
Then it never happened.
Several years of Portuguese radio silence ensued while kiwi Sauvignon continued its dominance and Spain became our go-to Iberian country for plentiful ripe and fruited wines.
But, like Craig David, Portugal overcame its Bo Selecta! moment and, in an achingly edgy subterranean vinyl shop in Soho, it found its mojo again.
But if I had to recommend just one to look out for, it would be Crasto.
Classic White 2015 toasty and citrussy; fresh, aromatic and mineral. Good.
Reserva White 2015 fuller, leesier and more persistent. Good.
Classic Red 2014 fresh, bramble -fruited, vibrant and supple
Reserva Red 2014 dark berry fruit, spice and pepperiness, fresh and supple with some firmness on the finish. Good.
Reserva Red 1994 rosehips on the nose but fresh red-plum fruit on the palate (volatile acidity, apparently); fresh, supple and long with mellow harmoniousness. Good.
Bom Retiro Vintage Port 2014 ripe and full, with brambly eucalyptus. Drinking nicely now, but probably won't age beyond 10-15 years. Good.
Crasto White 2015 fresh, aromatic, citrussy and textured; supple and adept. Good.
Crasto Superior White 2015 fuller and richer. Good.
Crasto Red 2014 fresh, clean, berry-fruited and supple. Good.
Crasto Superior Red 2014 richer, spicier, fuller and more complex. Good.
Crasto Superior Syrah 2014 Rhone-esque dark fruit, spice, red and black peppercorns with supple freshness. Good.
Crasto Reserva Old Vines 2013 plump, full, complex and textured with dark fruit and spice. Very Good.
Crasto LBV 2011 eucalyptus and dark cherry fruit. Good.
Crasto Colheita 1997 harmonious, mellow, supple and complex. Very Good.
Douro White 2015 fresh, citrus, sweet spices and nicely integrated oak. Good.
VVV Valleys Douro Red 2014 very fresh, dark fruited, minty and vibrant; easy-drinking.
Douro Red 2014 fresh and berry-fruited with vanilla and sweet spices; supple with some firmness on the finish. Good.
Vinha Da Francisca Douro Red 2014 fresh, mineral and minty with dark-berry fruit. Supple. Good.
Vinha Do Rio Douro Red 2014 complex but still closed-up with old-vine concentration; black cherry and dark berry fruit with spice and freshness. Supple, substantial and harmonious. Very Good.
CV Curriculum Vitae Douro Red 2014 fresh, dark berries and black cherries; elegant with an athletic, muscular core; fine, supple tannins. Good.
Vintage Port 2014 youthful and exuberant; lots of alcohol, fruit, spice and substance. Full of stuffing and still far too young. Very Good.
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