Three Fine Douro Reds

Quinta do Vesúvio 2007, Douro ****

First taste of the Symington's new Douro red from Quinta do Vesúvio, a blend of Touriga Nacional (70%), Touriga Franca (20%) and a significant amount (10%) of Tinta Amarela, the same grape as Trincadeira in the Alentejo. Aged for 10 months in new 400 litre casks of French oak (Transaud  and Boutes): very deep youthful crimson colour: tight knit, refined, cassis and restrained new oak (vanilla) on the nose; firm but not agressive, fleshy and concentrated, new oak still very evident, fine grained tannins, well balanced and very suave in style.   17.5

Poeira 2007, Douro ***/**** (?)

From a small, relatively cool north facing vineyard in the Pinhão valley by Quinta da Terra Feita, made by Jorge Moreira who is also wine maker for Quinta de la Rosa (below): very deep, youthful colour, closed but with underlying fragrance and fruit; firm, slightly green tannins, good fruit but not as nearly refined as Vesúvio, well'defined but needs time to open up.  Reserve judgement. 16.5  

Quinta de la Rosa, Reserva 2007, Douro ***

Ripe, open, fragrant, smoke and cedar on the nose, upfront but quite impressive and very inviting; plum and berry fruit, soft and voluptuous initially, firm ripe, spicy tannins with good grip and balance on the finish. Lacks the stuffing of some wines but already drinking well and it really shows the calibre of the 2007 vintage. 16  

Location: Dinner with Paul and Jane Symington

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty