On April 16th 2013, we compared four wines from Douro, three from Alentejo and one from Dão, all of which have scored at least 90 points and are drinking at their best today! Our guest speaker was long-time Toronto Vintners member, Larry Goldstein.
HOW THE WINES RANKED
2007 Chryseia DOC Douro $52
Applying Bordeaux wine-making methods to grapes which are traditionally destined for the production of vintage Port is the essence of the exciting Chryseia project. Chryseia released its first vintage in 2000. “Chryseia is a benchmark wine in modern Douro table wine making. With its layered tannins, black currant fruit, minerality and stylish yet powerful structure, this is a wine of great stature, needing aging for 2-3 years.” 94 pts. Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, April 2010.
2004 Gambozinos Touriga Nacional DOC Douro $35
“Bright scents of violets meet smoky, schist-scored tannins in this powerful touriga nacional. The fruit slowly infuses the tannin completely, as it will with cellar time. Age this a few years, then drink with seared duck breast.” 91 pts. wineandspiritsmagazine.com, April 2008.
2008 Pintas Character DOC Douro $36
“From 45-year-old vines, a wine with huge concentration, yet always elegant in character. The weight and density are palpable. Dark black fruits, along with a juicy edge, go with the dry core of this ageworthy wine.” 94 pts. Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, April 2011.
2006 Quinta Do Portal Tinta Roriz $43
“There's a juicy aroma, with very expressive mineral, red plum and hot stone flavors. Finishes with a tannic jolt and well-defined savory herbal and dark chocolate notes. Drink now through 2013.” 90 pts. Kim Marcus, winespectator.com, Web Only, 2009.
2008 Álvaro Castro Quinta de Saes Reserva $30
“The 2008 RESERVA is an equal blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, with 40% old vines field blend. It begins with the same sensibilities and style as the regular Tinto and the Outeiro - then, it adds depth, crispness and a little bit of tannin while remaining well integrated and harmonious. It becomes more and more appealing with aeration. This finishes beautifully and it sneaks up on you - it is more persistent than it seems, its elegance and harmony not detracting from its grip. There is nothing obvious about this wine - it subtly grabs your attention and keeps it, though. In terms of bang for the buck, it is the best value point in the lineup. Drink now-2020.” 92 pts. Mark Squires, erobertparker.com, Dec. 2011.
2007 Fitapreta Preta Vinho Regional Alentejano $39
“Any doubts that Portugal's Alentejo region can rival many big New World wines would be dispelled by this extravagant wine. With its intense fruit, sweet tannins, figs, coffee and spice flavors, it packs a serious punch of flavor. For drinking now.” 91 pts. Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, April 2010.
2004 Quinta Do Zambujeiro Terra Do Zambujeiro Vinhos Regional Alentejano $49
“The 2004 Terra do Zambujeiro is a nice one-two punch, and provides some considerable value. This is a mid-level wine from this winery. The 2004 Terra do Zambujeiro is beautifully balanced, with a backbone and grip on the finish. It is a blend of 26% Aragonez, 25% Periquita, 23% Trincadeira, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Alicante Bouschet. It is penetrating, and a little brooding, perhaps a bit closed at the moment. It lacks the exuberance of the 2003, but has better focus and more harmony, and a sensual texture. It should repay cellaring. Its fruit is also ripe and extremely pleasing when it finally opens up. It will not be released until 2008. Drink now-2015.” 91 pts. Mark Squires, erobertparker.com, Dec. 2007.
2007 Marques de Borba Reserva $55
“The 2007 Reserva Marques De Borba is this year's version of Ramos' flagship wine. It seems like a winner, bright, beautifully structured, elegant and bursting with flavor, if a bit too oaky at the moment, a little too scented with vanilla. The light mid-palate gives it a certain ethereal air. It will be interesting to see where this fragrant wine goes in the cellar. It drank beautifully the next day. Note to bargain hunters: I would be remiss if I did not note that Ramos' Vila Santa, at a fraction of the price, holds up pretty well, too. Drink now-2020.” 91 pts. Mark Squires, erobertparker.com, Feb. 2010.