Crasto Quinta Do Douro Doc 2016

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Red, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

For more than two millennia, history has woven a tapestry of seafaring tales and fortified libations in the picturesque region of Douro. Imagine weathered mariners embarking on daring voyages buoyed by the potent elixir of Port wine. The Douro region of Portugal proudly asserts itself as the world’s oldest wine region, despite debates on primacy.

Wine law begins and ends with demarcation. It defines the limits, the very essence of what makes a wine XWZ. 

Douro is divided into three subregions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo, and Superior Douro. The westernmost Baixo Corgo is blessed with fertility, raindrops that dance, and vineyards that flourish under the watchful gaze of Serra do Marão. This sub-region boasts the greatest vineyard expanse. Then, journey deeper into the heartland of fine port production, the Cima Corgo. Here, Quinta Do Crasto, its hallowed grounds nestled amidst the towns of Pinhão, São João da Pesqueira, and Tua, stands tall as a beacon of vinous excellence. Oh, did I mention that “Crasto” means “Roman Fort”? Quite fitting for this bastion of wine craftsmanship, don’t you think? Now, cast your gaze towards the border of Spain, where the Douro Superior holds court. It is a land of extreme temperature fluctuations, with winters as frosty as an Arctic breeze and summers that simmer like a cauldron. This sub-region is the largest of them all.

Cradle the vineyards along the Douro River

Cradle the vineyards along the Douro River

Imposing terraces, hewn from the rugged embrace of granite soils, cradle the vineyards along the Douro River. While the world may be familiar with Douro’s mastery of Port, it is the unfortified, dry red wines that genuinely captivate the senses. Portugal has spurned the fashionable allure of foreign grapes like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. No, they have chosen a different path, a path that celebrates their native varieties. And why not? The Douro Valley is a treasure trove of indigenous grapes. At the forefront, reigning supreme is the noble Touriga Nacional. It is closely followed by Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cao, and a dash of the non-indigenous Tinta Roiz, or as some may know it, Tempranillo. As for white grapes, they remain a rare gem, accounting for less than 1% of the region’s viticultural heritage. The wines birthed from these ancestral vines possess a commanding presence, embodying strength and body in every sip.

But let us not forget the story of Quinta Do Crasto, which dates back to the 1600s. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century, when the visionary Constantino de Almeida acquired the estate, that its commercial significance truly blossomed. Ah, Constantino, the founding father of the esteemed Constantino wine house, where Port and Brandy flowed like the river that embraced the land. The family’s century-old farmhouse was deemed a national historic site, a testament to their enduring legacy. And as the baton of greatness passed from father to son, it was Fernando who took up the mantle of Crasto. But fate had another twist in store for this illustrious tale. In 1981, the enchanting Leonor Roquette and her husband, the esteemed restaurateur Jorge Roquette, seized ownership and control of Quinta Do Crasto. Alongside their sons, Miguel and Tomas, they embarked on a journey of transformation, crafting wines that would garner international acclaim.

Quinta do Crasto

Now, let us raise our glasses to the Crasto Quinta do Douro DOC 2016, a libation that embodies the essence of time and terroir. Behold its deep ruby hue, concealing an opaque core that beckons us to explore further. Inhale deeply, and you will be greeted by an orchestra of ripe red fruit, a wild berry compote that dances upon the senses. Cranberry sauce and red plum intertwine, teasing the palate with their succulent embrace. But wait, there’s more! Like a celestial symphony, aromas of stewed prunes, dusted cocoa beans, and a hint of coffee join the melodic parade. Fresh violets and hibiscus tea add a floral flourish, while black pepper and fennel play their spicy notes in perfect harmony.

And now, brace yourselves for the journey your taste buds are about to undertake. As the wine caresses your tongue, a dry enchantment takes hold. Medium acidity adds its playful touch, while gentle tannins tiptoe across the palate. High alcohol levels bring forth a full-bodied character, like a velvet cloak enveloping the senses. The flavors burst forth, an intense symphony of red ripe fruit. Picture red cherry cordial, raspberries, pomegranates, and cranberries, each vying for your attention. Baked fruit dances hand in hand with dark flowers, as fresh coffee and dusted cocoa unite in a delightful pas de deux. And just when you think the performance has reached its crescendo, the curtain falls with a medium finish that leaves you craving an encore.

This exquisite creation spent its days aging gracefully, first in stainless steel, and then in the comforting embrace of French oak for six months. It is a masterful blend, composed of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roiz, and 25% Touriga Franca. Each varietal adds its unique voice to the symphony of flavors that grace your glass.

Now, let us address the nature of this wine. It is, without a doubt, a splendid companion for any occasion. Easy to drink, and uncomplicated, it reveals a bounty of ripe field fruit that dances playfully upon the palate. Its tannins, though gentle, embrace the senses, while a touch more acidity would elevate its vivacity. Alas, it loses a touch of concentration on the finish, but fear not, for it is still a thing of beauty. Picture yourself indulging in a succulent steak accompanied by creamy potatoes, and witness the magic unfold before your very eyes. Yes, this bottle is waiting to be discovered, beckoning you to embark on a sensory adventure. Seek it out at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, and let the Crasto Quinta do Douro DOC 2016 be your guide to a world of tantalizing flavors.

Cheers to the past, the present, and the exquisite moments yet to come!


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