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Conceito Contraste Tinto 2015

Other Red Blends from Douro, Portugal
  • RP90
13.5% ABV
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  • RP90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Contraste Red is made every year since 2006. Fermented in stainless steel vats, has its origin in old vines, with a focus on Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. Both serious and frivolous, has a perfect balance between accessibility while it’s young and the tense structure and deep character. No commitment to longevity gets better in bottle for at least 10 years.

It’s a perfect red to pair with stews and braised dishes.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Contraste Tinto is a field blend aged for 16 months in stainless steel tanks (30%) and used French oak (70%). This is the winery's second wine, mostly (80%) sourced from 40-year-old vines. Rita says it is a great year for reds, although some producers think it is a bit on the lighter side. That said, I've seen few vintages with such vivid and flavorful fruit, while still perfectly supported by freshness. They tend to have a certain silky texture, too. That describes this perfectly. It is very elegantly styled but wonderfully delicious. That is always in a dry, clean way, not ever a bit jammy but lifted and lively. This is a Contraste that won't impress with richness, but it does everything else pretty brilliantly. I do idly wonder if these 2015s will be so impressive in the long haul, when the spectacular fruit fades a bit, but it's hard not to be excited now, and wines with good acidity tend to surprise you. They hang on well. At the price point, it's hard to go wrong here.
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Conceito

Conceito Vinhos

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Conceito Vinhos, Portugal
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The way that Conceito Vinhos conceives of the wine, the deep understanding of their region, is the starting point for the project–inspiration for their story. Hence the Brand (Conceito = Concept). Port wine has monopolized wine production there since the 18th Century, producing a landscape of extraordinary beauty. But only recently people become aware of the tremendous potential of the eastern Douro.

Firstly, with the opening up of better access routes; and then with the table wine revolution. It has largely been this latter factor that has opened the way to a universe of specificities along the river course, a huge valley that can no longer be seen and cultivated as a uniform and undifferentiated whole. The wine will inevitably come to exhibit its various “terroirs”. Understanding them, working properly their widely differing altitudes, soils and microclimates is a journey from which there is no turning back, and one upon which Conceito Vinhos wholeheartedly embark. In search of the freshness and balance of terrain. That is the Concept!

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The home of Port—perhaps the most internationally acclaimed beverage—the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro River (known as the Duero in Spain), are incredibly steep, necessitating the use of terracing and thus, manual vineyard management as well as harvesting. The Douro's best sites, rare outcroppings of Cambrian schist, are reserved for vineyards that yield high quality Port.

While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and the region's excellent, though less known, red table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannins and floral aromatics. Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca shows great persistence of fruit and Tinta Barroca helps round out the blend with its supple texture. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is now rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines.

White wines, generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina and an assortment of other rare but local varieties, are produced in small quantities but worth noting.

With hot summers and cool, wet winters, the Duoro has a maritime climate.

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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

TXACTCTRD15_2015 Item# 508844