TN: 2007 Quinta do Crasto Old Vine Reserva Douro

Posted for Brig’s charity challenge.

Decanted 2 hours, consumed the following 3. This had massive amounts of oak dominating the nose and palate. It did blow off some, but still overshadowed the fruit on the nose and palate. Fruit that is now starting to slowly shedding it’s baby fat. I am concerned about how dominating that vanilla oak is, as I don’t see it subsiding enough to allow the aging fruit to show what it has. It was still a decent bottle but I would recommend drinking sooner rather than later. I don’t see it getting better from here.
88 Points

– as a side, I’ve consumed almost 2 cases of this since release. The last, previous to this, was 6 years ago. I had always been in the 92-94 points back then.

Hmmmm … interesting, but in a disappointing way.

I have an '04 in my “drink soon” stash … and an '05 at offsite. Have you recent experience with either of those vintages, Andy?

No I’ve not. Though I’ve got quite a few of each in my cellar. I’ll try and pull one in the next few weeks (if I can get to my offsite that is).

As a side, IMO 2005 is turning out to be the better of vintage for Douro dry reds. Well at least for Niepoort that is. Double blind I was served at Niepoort his Batuta 2004/05 and asked which wine was better. Had no idea what I was drinking. I picked the 2005. Seems Dirk and (at the time) his winemaker agreed 2005 had turned out to be the better vintage. I’m sure that will cause a stir with Douro wine drinkers, but the double blind results speak for themselves IMO.

I think this wine used to be “really special” around the 2001 vintage when I first found it…it started getting a little too “spoofed” for me around the 2005 vintage. Glad folks are liking it.

I would generally agree that they ramped up the oak treatment quite a bit by then. Thankfully they have dialed it back quite a bit in recent vintages. It was the early days for modern Douro wines and a lot of winemaking was flying by the seat of their pants to see what worked and didn’t, and of course it was the style back then that was popular.

Thanks for the note. I have two of these and will have to try one soon. I have always been concerned by the heavy handed use of oak and was hoping it would settle down with some bottle age. Sounds like it may be going the other way.