jamie goode's wine blog: Douro's best value?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Douro's best value?

As regular readers know, I'm a great fan of the new wave of table wines from the Douro. Thrilled by them, actually. They ain't cheap, though (not that they should be - it costs lots of money to make wines in such challenging terroirs), so it's nice to be able to find one that is really good as well as being quite affordable. For me, this is probably the best value Douro wine at the moment - other possible contenders are the Vale de Clara from La Rosa and the Prazo de Roriz, but this is a bit of a step up from these.

Churchill Estates Douro 2004 Portugal
I like this wine a good deal: it tastes very much of the Douro and it's affordable, balanced and very drinkable. Nicely perfumed nose of dark spicy black cherry fruit with a savoury, dusty edge. The palate shows pure dark fruits with some spicy definition and a really attractive savouriness. Despite the relatively high alcohol (14.5%) this isn't a sweet, overripe style, but instead shows great balance and quite a bit of class. Very impressive. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£7.99 Majestic, currently on offer at £6.39 if you buy two)



At 5:08 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

Striking label on this one. I will not miss it should I come across stock.

Jamie, I see that Prazo de Roriz has just released some 2005 bottles -- any word on those Douros?

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Prazo is excellent value: it's a modern, ripe style of Douro wine, but it isn't totally over the top. Haven't tried the 2005 yet.

Tried a bunch of cask samples of 2005 Douro wines recently, and from this showing it seems to be a really successful vintage. A bit bigger and riper than 2004 but more balanced than 2003.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger Salil said...

Jamie, have you heard of a producer in the Douro called 'Evel'? While in a store yesterday, I came across a few shelves of their base Douro red being heavily hyped at a very low price (about 7 USD), beneath some very positive ratings from the Wine Spectator and IWC. (While I don't normally pay much attention to points, I noticed Tanzer had given that 88 - which did catch my interest at that low price.)

Definitely something I'll be looking into in the near future, especially as the prices for a number of these wines seem to be quite a bit cheaper in the US than they are in London.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger EL PBX said...

Take a look also at Vértice 2003: great value for money.
Evel is made by Real Companhia Velha. Evel Grande Escolha 2003 is an excellent wine.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Robert said...

I heard from our mutual friend Phil Lucas that you were a Douro fan. I grew up in the Algarve during the 70's and remember my parents and friends drinking harsh red Lagoa from the garrafao (5 litre!!) bottles. Nothing to be proud of :-)

I am keen to get a trip upto the Douro and see the real Portugal. I hear the scenery is fantastic. Any recommendations on where to stay or what estates to visit?


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