Powerful Dry Red From the Douro Valley

Today’s Story: Prats & Symington

Prats & Symington is a joint venture established by the Symington family of Portugal and the Prats family of Bordeaux in 1999. Located in Portugal’s Douro Valley, Prats & Symington was created to showcase the possibility of creating world-class non-fortified wines from the region by employing long maceration and winemaking techniques common in Bordeaux. The estate consists of two owned vineyards, Quinta de Roriz which is a historic 42 hectare (104 acre) vineyard dating to 1565 and Quinta da Perdiz which is 23 hectares (57 acres). Both vineyards are planted largely to Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, however they also include smaller plots of Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, and Tinta Francisca which can all occasionally be included in the blends. All fruit is hand-harvested and carefully sorted before fermentation begins in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Chryseia then ages in 400-liter new French oak barrels for 8 to 12 months, which is relatively short to avoid adding significant oak influence to the wine.

Today’s Wine: 2016 Chryseia

60% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Franca; 14% ABV

The 2016 Chryseia is deep purple in color and nearly black at its core. I decanted this for about an hour and drank it over the following hour or so. The aromas are of pronounced intensity, and the nose showcases notes of blackcurrant, blueberry, blackberry, violets, black licorice, thyme, mint, slate, and a hint of vanilla. Meanwhile the flavors are also of pronounced intensity, and the palate displays plum, blackberry, cassis, sweet tobacco, anise, dried herbs, pepper, and mocha. This dry red is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, high tannins, high alcohol, and a long finish. Quite enjoyable now with the air, though this should develop nicely over the next five years or so.

Price: $70. While no doubt a high-quality, delicious, and fun wine produced in a region known for Port, I struggle to tag this as a great value wine given the price-point. This is somewhat big and jammy for my personal tastes as well, but I did enjoy it.

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