Francois Lurton (website here) makes wine in France, Chile, Argentina, Spain and now Portugal. He bought his first Douro property in 2006 (Quinta Beira), and has subsequently added a second (Quinta Malho).
I tried the 2008 releases, which include the two Quinta wines and two more commercial brands. I’ll be honest: I was a little disappointed with the two Quinta wines. These are not in the same league as some of the top Douro table wines now being released. It’s not that they are bad wines; just that they aren’t great – and these are not cheap, either (£25-£40).
François Lurton Quinta Beira Douro 2008 Douro, Portugal
A 10 hectare vineyard close to Pinhão, north facing. 15% alcohol. Gravelly, slightly tarry nose with fresh plum and blackberry fruit. Midweight palate with fresh, tarry, spicy red and black fruits and a bit of savoury grip, with some tannic structure. High alcohol yet lacks real concentration of flavour. 88/100
François Lurton Quinta do Malhô 2008 Douro, Portugal
From a south-facing vineyard in the Torto Valley. 15% alcohol. Ripe yet fresh berry and cherry fruits nose is taut and focused with some new oak spiciness. The palate is more red fruits than black – this certainly isn’t jammy or overripe – but it shows high alcohol, despite this, as well as some new oak. One to cellar for a few years? 89/100
François Lurton Barco Negro 2008 Douro
13% alcohol. Light and fruity with supple cherry fruit and a herby, earthy edge. Juicy and simple with some nice savouriness. A light style. 83/100
François Lurton Barco Negro Reserva 2008 Douro
13.5% alcohol. Supple, juicy cherry and berry fruit with some roast coffee and spicy oak notes. Midweight and quite savoury with some Douro typicity. 85/100
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