Great Value from the Douro Valley

Today’s Story: Churchill’s

Churchill’s is a relatively young Port wine company, founded in 1981 by John Graham which made it the first to be established in 50 years. Though John comes from a long lineage of Port winemakers of Graham’s, he wanted to start his own venture to explore his own individual style of Port. Named for his wife, Churchill’s produces Port wines using as much natural fermentation as possible and as little fortification brandy as possible. In 1999, Churchill’s expanded into the production of Douro wines by acquiring Quinta da Gricha. All of Churchill’s wines are produced with Grade A (IVDP’s highest quality rating) native grapes and for Port are hand-sorted at the winery before being crushed and vinified in open granite fermentation tanks called lagares. Foot treading is utilized to provide a gentle maceration of the grapes and skins, and the traditional winemaking practices as a whole alongside minimal intervention results in dry, well-structured wines.

Today’s Wine: 2012 Grande Reserva Douro

Field blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Francisca, and Tinto Cão; 14% ABV

The 2012 Grande Reserva is slightly transparent and medium purple in color. Once this opens up, the nose showcases aromas of plum, stemmy blueberry, cherry cola, violet, sweet tobacco, rocky earth, wet slate, green vegetation, and black pepper. On the palate, I get notes of blackberry, blueberry, juicy black plum, black raspberry, cocoa, mint, damp loamy soil, iron, nutmeg, slate, and a hint of oak. The wine is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $32. This is a really solid value from the Douro Valley that is drinking very nicely right now. Pair this with steak, a good burger, or game (particularly wild boar or venison).

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