A real time tasting note on Churchill Estates 2007 Douro

OK, a real-time, as it is drunk, straight to blog tasting note, typed as I sit here in the garden on a lovely warm Sunday evening.

I’ve just finished dinner – it was a BBQ for my younger son and I as the others are out. The evening is still and warm, with a relaxed Sunday evening feeling to it. FFS (Puppy) has quietened down. I think she realises, somehow, that tomorrow is spaying day; she’s not allowed anything else to eat this evening.

After the grandeurs of a 1967 Hermitage last night, I need something a bit more modest this evening. But still something with real quality. So I’ve headed to Portugal, and one of several bottles of the Churchill Estates 2007 Douro that I bought from Majestic last year. Now this is one of the best-value Douro wines, at around £10. It offers real Douro character, with total drinkability, and the capacity to develop in bottle for a few years.

It’s a lovely fusion of ripe, almost new-world-style fruit, with a deliciously old-world savouriness. I’m getting ripe black cherry fruit, a twist of blackcurrant, and an olive/meaty savouriness. There’s even some pepper character. It has a floral lift, but also the bass notes of spicy dark fruits, making for a compelling, well defined wine that covers a wide flavour spectrum.

There’s some density here on the mid-palate. There’s a textural richness. It has far more dimensions than you might expect in a Douro wine at this price. I reckon it will peak in three years time, but it’s delicious now. It’s so good to be able to find a wine at this price point that really delivers, because Douro wines can get quite expensive.

In the UK this is available from Majestic Wine and Tanners. Majestic have the 2008, but Tanners still have some of this 2007 and the 2008 also. I recommend picking up a six-pack and drinking over the course of the next few years. And it’s a great wine for outdoor drinking on an evening like this.

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