RECOMMENDED: Crasto, 2009 Red Blend (35% Tinta Roriz [a.k.a. Tempranillo], 25% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Franca, 15% Touriga Nacional), Duoro, Portugal. 14.5% ABV. Around $13.

Made from Port grapes (yes, Tempranillo is a Port grape), this is a very interesting red wine. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, this is a good choice.

COLOR: Dark magenta-violet, with pink edges and clarity.
NOSE: Spicy, strawberries. Later: yeast dinner rolls.
TASTE: At first, mild and gently perfumed. Round, expansive, gentle tannins. A hint of tea and orange. Long spicy finish. Gave way to big red fruits with a kiss of pie and cherry candy, finally opened to reveal cigar box and oak as well. I love it when a wine develops with time; it’s like reading a good short-story.

Average age of vines: 20-plus years
Region: Douro Valley (north of Portugal)
Soil: Schist
Vinification: Grapes are hand picked and transported to the winery in small plastic crates. Prior to destemming they are put on a conveyor belt in order to carefully select the best quality fruit for the fermentation. The fermentation is carried out in open plunging tanks along with a number of specially designed fermentation vessels, with temperature control. Near completion of primary fermentation the skins are pressed with a basket press in order to extract soft tannins from the skins with all pressing combined with the free run.
Ageing: Inox Tanks.
Winemakers: Dominic Morris and Manuel Lobo.
Analysis: Total Acidity 4.92 gr/L; pH 3.72; Res. Sugar 2.0 gr/L .

LABEL NOTES: The grapes were grown exclusively at our two properties in the Duoro Valley. Enjoy this red wine, which is fresh, young and ready to drink, slightly chilled by itself or with food.


Sample received for review.

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