This is a brilliant bargain! It’s a grown-up, proper Douro red for less than a tenner. The Symingtons are the largest organic farmer in the Douro with 126 hectares of organic vines (clearly, there is some way to go in a region with around 36 000 hectares – the chief problem is weed control on terraces, which is really hard to do mechanically, and sometimes impossible). Their advantage is that in the Vilarica Valley in the Douro Superior, their vines aren’t terraced – it’s quite a bit flatter here. So working organically is feasible. This wine comes from 30 year old vines and it is stupidly cheap for the quality.
Altano Quinta do Ataide Organic 2012 Douro, Portugal
13.5% alcohol. Sweet, ripe blackberry and black cherry aromatics. Quite lush but with good definition, and notes of liqourice and violet. The palate is supple and ripe with a hint of chocolatey oak, as well as sweet black fruits and a bit of damson. Grippy, stony finish. Very Douro, with some hints of meat and olive. 91/100 (£9.99 Waitrose, but on offer until 28/10/14 at £7.99)