Unoaked Young Douro Provides Value!

Crasto Winery early days

A Lot Of History In The Douro

Located in a prime spot in the Douro Demarcated Region in Northern Portugal, Quinta do Crasto has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for more than a century. Like all the other great Douro estates, Quinta do Crasto dates far back into ancient times. The name Crasto comes from the Latin castrum meaning “Roman fort”. The earliest records mentioning Quinta do Crasto and its wine production date back to 1615.

In the early 20th century, Quinta do Crasto was bought by Constantino de Almeida, founder of the renowned Constantino wine house dedicated to the production and export of Port wine and brandy as well. Their slogan “A fama do Constantino já vem de longe” (“The fame of Constantino dates far back in the past”) has been so popular that it still remains until today. Following the death of Constantino de Almeida in 1923, his son Fernando Moreira d’Almeida took over the management of Quinta do Crasto

In 1981, Leonor Roquette, daughter of Fernando Moreira d’Almeida, together with her husband Jorge Roquette, took over majority ownership as well as the management of the estate. With their sons, they began the process of renovating and extending the vineyards. They also began producing the Douro DOC wines that Quinta do Crasto is now famous for domestically and abroad.  4 Generations producing over 1,400,000 bottles of Douro Wines and Porto exported all over the world.

2016 Crasto Douro Red

Crasto Front

Crasto Rear

2016 which in the end turned out to be a solid PORTO Vintage and also a solid for Douro Reds but it was a challenging vintage. The winter saw way more rainfall during winter than the average over the last 30 years. The summer was extremely hot and saw a ton of rainfall in August. Ripening the grapes took a little bit longer than normal. The complexity of this harvest meant the viticultural team and winemaking team had to spend considerable time in the vineyards so as to make the most important decisions that would lead to great wines.

Not A Bad View of The Douro River

Crasto on the Douro

This vintage as usual with the Douro Reds are a blend of the same grapes that go into a Porto Fortified Wine but in a non fortified still, dry wine. 35% Touriga Nacional. 30% Tinta Roriz (Another Synonym for Tempranillo), 25% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Barroca. Grapes are taken to the winery in 22 kg boxes. After a rigorous selection, the stalks are removed and the grapes are crushed and transferred to stainless steel vats. The alcoholic fermentation takes place at controlled temperature for 7 days. Ageing is for 6 months only on this entry level red in controlled temperature stainless steel tanks and 5% of the Ageing takes place in 225 liter French Oak but technically as the bottle label says…this is an Unoaked wine. Fresh, Young, Everyday …. Let’s Review

My Review

Crasto Glass and Bottle

A wine like this should be drank about 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. It only has less than 2 grams of Residual Sugar so this is a Dry Wine which is what you expect from Douro Reds. The color is a very dark Ruby with a very dark center. Aromatically, I picked up some light violet scents, almost an earthy, rocky and mineral nose, which automatically says Old World Wine, The fruits were very plummy and fig like as well. On the palate which is medium body with only 13% alcohol and no oak, I would say medium towards the plus of acidity and a juicy, tart, red berry mid palate that slides to the back with Douro Tannins and one last almost cranberry like flavor to finish it off. This is perfect for a newbie introducing themselves to what can be very, very powerful wines from this region because it doesn’t smack you in the face. It’s a pleasant match with tomato sauced dishes, grilled meats or even as a standalone. I had it with a grilled salmon salad and it worked as the Acidity and No Oak worked with a fattier style fish. Nothing to write home about but a certainly great value for everyday quality wine made by a 4th generation family. I will score this a strong 87 points at  retail price of $15.99 per bottle.

My Summary

So many consumers think about Spain, such as Rioja and Ribera Del Duero… Ribera Del Duero is on the East side of the DOURO River and they should try wines from Portugal which provides better value on the West Side of The DOURO River Quinta Do Crasto is a top quality producer and at $15.99 before you take on the big boys from that region the 2016 Crasto Red is a good introduction and a recommended buy.

Grape-fully yours, Larry

So Dark In The Glass!!

Crasto Glass