Duas Quintas - affordable Douro
Ramos Pinot's Duas Quintas has been around a while and predates many of the new wave reds from Portugal's Douro. The partner red, the Reserva, is usually up there with the best from the region; the much cheaper regular Duas Quintas, which I'm trying here, is usually reliable and affordable, if a little unspectacular.
Duas Quintas has had a bit of a face-lift. It boasts a new label, and the wine has changed a bit - much more modern and fruit forward, with nice purity. Is this the vintage, or a style change? I reckon this delivers (even at the slightly inflated Nicolas pricing) and is a good introduction to what the Douro is capable of, even in a less celebrated vintage.
Duas Quintas 2006 Douro, Portugal
Lovely vivid pure sweet raspberry and blackberry fruit dominates here, and it flirts with jamminess. The palate has nicely dense berryish fruit with an attractive spicy edge and some chocolatey richness. It's quite pure with nice balance between the primary fruit and some spicy tannins. 88/100 (Nicolas £9.15)