Dark ruby color; spice, minerals, touch of menthol nose; cherry, raspberry, dark plum on the palate;
powerful with velvet softness in the mouth; firm acidity (3.63 pH); relaxed, sweet tannins. Savory, smooth, easy drinking delight with nice tang on the satisfying finish. Oak is notable because of its graceful, only-a-supporting-player presence in the background thanks to aging in stainless steel and 400 liter oak barrels (which are larger than the 225-liter barrique typically found in California and France—the larger the barrel, the less the oak influence).
Symington Family Estates is a famous maker of port, and this offering uses a palette of Portuguese grapes used in Porto production—30% tinta roriz, 25% tinta barroca, 15% touriga nacional, 15% touriga franca, tinta amarela, 3% tinto cão, 2% sousão. Ostensibly, grapes in this red blend are ones that did not make the cut for the high-end efforts, but that does not mean they are low-quality grapes. These grapes could play first chair in many a lesser winery’s symphony.
The Douro Valley in eastern Portugal (it forms the border with Spain) is a World Heritage site and one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Andrew James Symington came to the city of Porto in 1882 and established himself as a Porto wine merchant. In 1914, he gained control of Warre’s. Descendants of his three sons now own Warre’s, Dow’s, and Graham’s—royalty labels in the world of Porto.
Bruno Prats is famed winemaker in France, Chile, and South Africa. The Symingtons and Prats joined forces in 1999 to produce high quality, non-fortified Douro wines—this offering is an example of their work. Very much worth your time sipping at this superb value price. $16
Second, third photos
Vineyards at Quinta de Roriz
Winemakers Bruno Prats (left), Charles Symington (right)