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Even among the breathtakingly beautiful and historically rich terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, Quinta do Crasto is special. The estate celebrates its 400th birthday in 2015, and a demarcation stone marks its inclusion in the first geographical classification of the region’s vineyards in the 18th century. For more than a century now, the Roquette family have owned the 130-hectare estate, 70 hectares of it planted to the traditional vines of the Douro Valley, clinging precariously to their schistous perch above the river. When you want to create new vineyards here, you often need to use dynamite – as the Roquettes discovered when establishing their new vineyard at Quinta da Cabreira high in the Douro Superior. Crasto was among the pioneers of table wine in the Douro, devoting much time and resource to unfortified winemaking when most of its neighbours remained 100% focused on Port. The red wines are among the best-regarded in Portugal, including a quartet of single varietal and single vineyard bottlings whose scarcity makes them much sought-after when they hit the market each winter.
"Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) was once believed to be the finest grape for Douro table wines. While that view has been modified, it still makes an impressive wine. With 18 months in wood and super-ripe fruit, the wine is concentrated and opulent. It has fine tannins and acidity that are at the service of this great fruitiness. The wine will age further, with maturity likely to occur by 2020." 94/100 Wine Enthusiast (2013 Vintage)
“The 2013 Tinta Roriz (Crasto’s only monovarietal in this vintage–there will be no Touriga Nacional) is an impressive achievement in the vintage. There were times early on when I thought this was the best in the lineup, before settling on the Maria Teresa (granted, I’m a big Maria Teresa groupie). It’s a big Roriz, not thick or jammy, but tight around the edges and showing off some power. For all of that, the power is well restrained. This is beautifully balanced, built to age and very impressive. Showing good concentration and good integration of oak, it kept getting better with air, too. It is probably one of my favourite releases of this brand ever from Crasto. It will be interesting to see how it shows with some age, but it will be surprisingly approachable if you must drink it young. That said, of all of Crasto’s offerings this issue, this is the most backward, the one that needs the most time.” 95/100 Robert Parker (2013 Vintage)
“Offers aromas and flavours redolent of red raspberry, with concentrated dark plum and blueberry notes. Presents supple tannins and a creamy, open-textured finish of dark chocolate and Asian spice. Very lush. Drink now through 2022.” 93/100 Wine Spectator (2013 Vintage)
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Syrah / Shiraz
Mourvèdre / Monastrell / Mataró
94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
Boutique North Canterbury Producer
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Phone: 03 3655134
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