Prats & Symington Update

Prats & Symington Update

I wrote extensively about Prats & Symington after a dinner in London with Bruno Prats in 2015: http://www.richardmayson.com/portuguese-notes/2015/02/02/future-douro-wa....  At the start of vintage in the Douro in September 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Quinta de Roriz where the wines are made. Picking was already underway and I was impressed with the attention to detail in the winery, including a triple selection of grapes before they reach the vat. A dozen or so people were working on sorting tables, mostly weeding out raisinised grapes. There has also been considerable investment in air conditioned cellars where the wines age in 400 litre barrels of French oak. 

I tasted three impressive young wines from 2014 and 2015 which display the considerable finesse that can be achieved in the Douro with sensitive wine making and a touch of French influence. 2014 was not an easy year with heavy rain falling during vintage.   

Prazo de Roriz 2015 ***

Deep colour, bright, fresh sappy fruit on the nose and lovely, fresh sappy-spicy primary fruit on the palate, up front with a dusting of tannin leading to a plummy finish. The wine spends 3 months in used oak before bottling so the wood is barely noticeable in this wine.  16 

Post Scriptum 2014 ***/****

Mid-deep youthful colour (not as deep as Prazo de Roriz above); elegant, fragrant aromas, bergamot with a touch of new oak evident; firm tight-knit tannins on the palate with more to give, well-focused and structured with ripe tannins running all the way through to the finish which display’s characteristic Douro berry fruit. 16.5  

Chryseia 2014  **** + ? 

Deeper in colour; closed and dense on the nose, still marked by toasty oak which needs time to integrate; big, firm savoury – cedary tannins, tight knit with underlying pure, well defined Douro fruit which emerges on the finish. Still a bit disjointed: needs time to come together but will be very fine with another year or so in bottle. 18 +?       

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