(2019) The Symington family produce this meaty and fruity red from organically-grown Tinta Barocca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, from the largest organic-certified farm in the Douro. There's a delightfully lifted floral and herbal, tobbaco and spice aroma, all floating over black fruit. On the palate it is firm, with a dry and tannic framework that does really call out for food, but the savoury, dark and robust black fruit is there. Some retailers, including Waitrose, have moved on to the 2017 vintage which I have not tasted, but it is usually a reliable wine that I have tasted over many vintages. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) Striking packaging for this, entirely wrapped in a a thick grey paper, with all of the front and back label information printed in gold, and a hand-tied extra label round the neck with string. It's a collboration between two very good Port and still-wine families of the Douro, Barros and Van Zeller, and the wine is aged in ex-vintage Port barrels for 12 months, a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. Dark, bold purple/black, it has cherry and vine fruit aromas, a nice tobacco and spice touch too. In the mouth it's a real charmer, with lots of upfront ripe black fruits, but there is a fine, sophisticated background of spices and a polished, graphite character, smooth and chocolatey tannins, and pert cherry acidity to complete a really nice, refined but completely approachable picture. Slightly gimmicky packaging? Well, the wine world is a bit short of imagination in that respect and inside is a really rather nice wine. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) The same four varieties as the 'Esteva', but from hotter Douro superior and meatier and more balsamic in character, certainly more rustic on the palate, but with a meaty charm and again very good freshness to the acids and tannins.
(2019) From Cima Corga and Douro Superior, this spends 12 months in three- and four-year-old oak. Again the Douro's Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca is the blend. Instantly smoother and silkier, the palate has a blue-black fruit intensity, it is fleshy, but the smoother tannins and ripe fruit married to elegant plummy acidity.
(2019) The 2013 vintage of this Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca blend, again aged in French oak for 24 months. Broadly similar on the nose to the 2012 with that same marriage of chocolate, spices and dark plum and vine fruits, but a suggestion of a slightly juicier character. That carries through on the palate, where the tannins and charriness of the barrel gives a bit of rustic bite to this, a bit of chewiness, but the fruit is that little bit fresher, edgier, with juicy black fruit and tangy acidity into the finish.
(2019) A blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, the grapes foot-trodden in lagares, before the wines is aged in for 24 months in French oak. Deep, chocolaty and plummy aromas, this is all about black fruit and a ripe, creamy and dark set of aromatics. In the mouth it's a substantial wine, the oak ageing adding a warming, spicy, coffee and cocoa under-pinning, but the sweetness of the fruit and a nicely tart, plum skin edge of roughening tannin and acidity gives this a bit of cut and thrust, lengthening the finish nicely.
(2016) Michel Chapoutier has certainly branched out from his Rhône Valley roots, now with wineries or joint ventures from Champagne to Australia, and now Portugal's Douro Valley too. This is 100% Touriga Nacional from various vineyards on the typical slate soils of the region, the nose immediately quite complex, graphite and tobacco mixing with firm black fruits and little peppery, lighter floral notes. In the mouth a lovely combination of slick, creamy fruit and a more strict, keen acid and plum-skin core that's taut and fresh (with only 13% alcohol), giving this freshness into the spicy and fruity finish. £11.25 for Daily Drinker club members.
(2016) And TN stands for Touriga Nacional, the mono-varietal in this bottling which has a subtle nutty note to the black fruit, not so deep or quite so inviting as the TR cuvée. In the mouth there's a lot of obvious sweet ripeness to the fruit, a real jammy intensity of mid-palate sweetness, with just about enough tannin and creamy oak, as well as cherryish acidity, to balance.
(2015) A blend of the estate's grapes, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, this is deep and richly coloured, plush black fruits and hints of smoky spice and chocolate are bountiful and attractive. In the mouth that generous, broad character continues, a big velvetty mouthful of black fruit has a nicely earthy and spicy groundwork beneath it, a bit of roughening tannin and good acid balance, in a dense and powerful wine with a balanced finish. Note the price quoted is in Euros direct from Pinalta, not Pounds.
(2006) A base of Touriga Nacional, with some Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah in the blend. This wine is unoaked, with stainless steel fermentation (there is an oaked version too). There is a green, herbal note at first, but with 13.5% alcohol and plenty of fruit this is not underripe. There is plenty of lush, full berry fruit. On the palate that ripeness and full, sweet fruit continues, but there is crispness and crunch too, with juicy acidity and a touch of spice into the finish.
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