2007 Quinta do Crasto Tinto Douro

Getting In Touch With My Roots

My last name’s Paulo. It’s Portuguese.

I’ve never been to Portugal, and my family is the classic American grab bag. There’s Irish, and German, and Dutch, and numerous other mostly Western European nationalities in there somewhere.

But my last name is Portuguese, so it holds something of a special place. Portugal, that is. That being said, until I tried this Douro, I’d never had a wine from Portugal that wasn’t a Porto. I’d had plenty of those, rubies, and tawnies, and vintage Porto. But I’d always associated Portugal with the fortified wine the country is so famous for.

Oh my. Oh my, how wrong I was.

The 2007 Crasto Douro is some pretty fan-friggin-tastic wine. At 13.5% ABV it’s refreshingly low in alcohol compared to what seems to be today’s standard. The wine is a blend of four Portuguese grapes: it’s 35% Tinta Roriz, 25% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Franca, and 15% Touriga Nacional.

The wine is a garnet-to-purple color in the glass, lighter than it is dark, but very rich. The nose has two major elements: bright, ripe fruit (mostly raspberry), and an herbaciousness that comes off as a bit of mint, a bit of juniper.

OK… once you get this wine in your mouth, however, it changes course. Dark red cherries mingle with notes of chocolate. It’s medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a short finish. The wine is oaked but not over-oaked, there’s an excellent balance and real structure here.

But oh, the cherries and the chocolate… not surprisingly, it all reminds me of Porto. There’s a big, big difference, however: this Douro from Crasto can be enjoyed more often (and in larger quantities) than dessert wine can.

I recommend you do.

Verdict: 91/100

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