Quinta do Crasto Douro Red 2017
Dark ruby in color. Excellent aroma intensity, with floral notes of violet and expressive aromas of wild fruits. On the palate it starts in an appealing way, evolving into a balanced wine, with excellent volume and structure. The tannins are soft in texture and well-integrated with fine retronasal hints of wild fruits. A seductive wine, with great freshness and a lingering finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 Tinto, in bottle about four months when first seen, is a blend of Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga Franca (25%), Touriga Nacional (35%) and Tinta Barroca (10%). About 15% (a deliberate increase from what used to be a nominal 5%) of the blend was aged in second use French oak for six months, the rest in tank. Crasto's idea with the increase in oak going forward is to change the wine's texture a bit and add a bit of gravitas. This has come together really well since last seen, fleshing out, showing a bit more power and (most importantly) vivid flavor. I'm not sure if this will hold serve throughout its useful life, but at the moment, it is worth leaning up on this succulent but fresh Tinto. It comes in at 14% alcohol.
Nestled on a privileged location in the Douro, Quinta do Crasto is one of the oldest winemaking estates in the region – the name ‘Crasto’ is derived from the Latin word ‘castrum’, which means ‘Roman fort’. The first known references to Quinta do Crasto can be traced back to 1615, long before the Douro became the world’s first Demarcated Wine Region in 1756. In the early 1900s, Quinta do Crasto was purchased by Constantino de Almeida, the founder of the famous Constantino Port house. Today, his granddaughter, Leonor Roquette, and her husband Jorge Roquette own and manage the estate, together with their sons, Miguel and Tomás. The Roquette family has invested tremendous time, attention, and resources to rebuild and expand the vineyards and facilities to produce top quality Port and Douro table wines. Vineyard mapping, DNA-matched replanting, a new state-of-the-art wine cellar and centuries of tradition mean that no detail in the winemaking and vineyard management is overlooked.
Quinta do Crasto produces different styles of port and table wines each year. Together with their winemakers and their entire team, they seek to produce year after year wines that display the unique and beautiful characteristics of the Douro, through a tireless devotion to tradition, integrity and excellence.
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.
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.