(2021) The blend varies from year to year but always bigger proportions of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa, in this blend 80% Nacional. Again, floral hints to the creamy, quite dense black fruits, some clove spice and graphite. Great density and structure here, the ripe and creamy tannins give great grip against fresh cherry-pit acidity, and the black fruit builds through the mid-palate in terms of fullness and creamy sweetness. The finish has lovely balance and purity, finishing on fruit extract and acidity.
(2021) Christian says this had 50% new oak in this vintage, much more than normal, because of the quality of fruit. A touch of balsamic quality, but then wonderfully fresh and focused, a rounded, creamy, wonderfully smooth and rounded character, but that peony fragrance and perfume exudes from the glass. The palate is taut and relatively firm and muscular because of the ripe but striking tannins, but there is so much flesh and charm from the sweet fruit too, once again running into a fresh, mineral-driven finish.
(2021) The 2018 has a singing, vivid purple colour and like the other 2018s here, such an elegant yet intense aromatic, touching into the old rose florals again, but quite meaty, a blackcurrant ripeness of fruit. In the mouth this is giving immediate pleasure, with so much sweet, juicy and ripe black berry fruit bursting on the tongue, but then those quite meaty but ripe and smooth tannins joining the stricter acids to give definition and length, the oak impercetible really as it finishes on fruit and freshness.
(2021) This Douro DOC wine is made from Touriga Nacional, which some still wine makers of the Douro like more than others, but Christian vinifies this mostly in stainless steel with around 35% of oak for ageing, trying emphasise the elegance and aromatics. There is a little more meatiness and 'solidity' compared to the Cedro, but then a touch of floral leafiness too to add dimension. The palate bursts through with great sweetness, a realy smooth silkiness of ripe black fruit, but then a liquorice stripe of endive and bittersweetness really grips and freshens the finish.
(2021) Farmed organically and in the processing of gaining certification. Fermentation part in barrel, part in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts, then also matured in combination of barrels and steel on the lees. Labelled as 'Sec Tendre', this is a whisker from being dry, but the light touch of residual sugar gives immense drinkability. On the nose there's a distinct gravel and smoky mineral character however, a lively expressive wine, with a touch of leafy herbs and lemon. The palate has that gentle sweetness, but shimmering acidity too, ripe, clean apple and citrus playing against that easy-going, and quite delicious balance of the finish.
(2021) The Limarí Valley is another relatively new, northern valley that has quickly earned a reputation for Syrah in particular. This comes from coastal vineyards composed of stony, clay soils over limestone and is aged in French oak for around 20 months, 20% new barrels. Cool, creamy and red-fruited on the nose, there's an elegance and lift to this, some violet-like notes and a buoyant character. Excellent fruit on the palate too, more on the blackcurranty spectrum now, the obvious cooler climate credentials of acidity and tension are there, smooth but firm into the finish. Price and stockist quoted is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Big and bloody, meaty, fleshy. A little medicinal note here, maybe a touch of Brett. Lovely palate, so juicy and fleshy, ripe plum and the tang of cherry and plum. Deliciously ripe and appealing balance.
(2020) A touch more floral and lifted than the 2016, a bit of tapenade, racy cherry and raspberry, the same fruit complexity of red over dark, but super-juicy, a squirt of lemon juice and edgy, energetic flavours are crisp and fresh in the finish over black fruit.
(2020) Around 2% of Petit Verdot in the blend here, along with both Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, and Merlot. It spent 16-18 months in barrel, 40% new oak and the fruit comes from soils of limestone, clay and wind-blown volcanic material. Youthful, dried herbs, mussel shells, blackcurrant and just a touch of something like bay leaf. In the mouth there is a red fruit tartness and edge, that is taut and gives energy to the darker fruit tones, a little leather and dried sage. Lovely. Price and stockist quoted is for the 2017 vintage at time of review.