Steep slopes shelve deep into the Douro River Valley. Hills stretch off into the horizon, and narrow roads wind around the hillsides. Vine terraces bask in the sun, their soil pure schist and granite. This wild and beautiful part of northern Portugal offers extraordinarily good conditions for wine grapes, though life is not easy for Douro winegrowers. Roots must search down between layers of rock seeking out the limited water, while the schist absorbs and then radiates the sun’s heat.
Quinta do Crasto is 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, however, like many other great Douro estates, Quinta do Crasto’s vineyards date far back into ancient times. The name Crasto comes from the Latin castrum meaning “Roman fort”.
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. They are, thus, the fourth generation of the family to manage this emblematic estate that seduces all with the exquisite quality that it confers upon all of its wines.
Quinta do Crasto Douro Tinto 2017
Shelf Price $16.99
Sale Price $13.97
Lowest price in New York!
90 pts Wine Advocate
The 2017 Tinto, in bottle about four months when first seen, is a blend of Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga Franca (25%), Touriga Nacional (35%) and Tinta Barroca (10%). About 15% (a deliberate increase from what used to be a nominal 5%) of the blend was aged in second use French oak for six months, the rest in tank. Crasto's idea with the increase in oak going forward is to change the wine's texture a bit and add a bit of gravitas. This has come together really well since last seen, fleshing out, showing a bit more power and (most importantly) vivid flavor. I'm not sure if this will hold serve throughout its useful life, but at the moment, it is worth leaning up on this succulent but fresh Tinto.
The Douro is the oldest demarcated and regulated wine region in the world declared in 1756 and made a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001. Between 1758 and 1761, the Marquis of Pombal ordered the installation of 335 granite markers – each standing two meters high and 30 x 20 centimeters – to delineate the first-ever Demarcated Region in the world. One of these stone pillars, or “marcos pombalinos” in Portuguese, dates back to 1758 and can still be seen today at the Quinta do Crasto nearby the century-old farmhouse.