Wine Note April 2022

2017 Douro “Castrum” Quinta do Crasto (Co-op £9.99)

Port is the great sweet, fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Douro valley.

It’s losing its popularity. A lack of occasions to drink it? A trend to light low alcohol drinks? So, producers are now making dry red unfortified wines as well.

This example is produced by the Quinta do Crasto estate, where wine making dates back to 1615. Both Crasto and castrum mean Roman fort, showing the region’s connection to ancient history.

The Douro valley has a wide range of grape varieties; this bottle is a blend of

Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo, as in Rioja), Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional.

There’s lots of plum fruit and spice and enough tannin and acid to suggest it would be worth keeping it for a year or two.

After tasting it for this note, I discovered that, according to the Coop website, it’s no longer stocked. There might be some still left on the shelves, otherwise try Sainsbury’s or the Wine Society who stock similar wines at similar prices.

It will go well with Easter lamb though not with chocolate eggs – you’ll need a good ruby port for those.

John Freeland (u3a Wine Tasting Group)