Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Fernão Pires
75cl * Vegan *14% ABV * Douro, Portugal
In 1761, Portugal's de facto ruler, the Marquis of Pombal, ordered stone markers be placed around the Douro to delineate its best vineyards - Quinta da Pedra Alta was the only producer to have three markers on its property.
A fruit-driven, supple expression of Portugal's myriad indigenous grape varieties, this has drinkability written all over it: soft and brambly, yet with pleasing tannic bite. Pair with roast chicken, cod (salted or battered), or a traditional Portugese francesinha.
Drink now, but will gain further complexity over the next 3-5 years. Best decanted and served lightly chilled (12 to 14 degrees centigrade).
'Inky crimson with black core. Fragrant with fresh dark fruit, a touch of cedar, that rocky impression I get from so many of the best Douro vineyards and plenty of spice but not massively oaky on the nose, the merest hint of vanilla. More obvious oak on the palate, dark, charry, chewy and yet finishes with surprising elegance and freshness, rising out of the deep fruit and firm, dry tannins on the mid palate to a dry tannic finesse on the finish. The tannins are starting to melt but this is far from its apogee. Drink 2024 – 2030.' Julia Harding