2007 Quinta do Crasto Vinha Maria Teresa- Portugal, Douro (3/16/2017)
Decanted this for 5 hours. There is no sign of any age on the color. Still retains that fresh lively dark stone fruit on the nose. A slight creaminess at first quickly steps aside as the vibrant black cherries, tar, moderate tannins, and acidity take over in the mouth. As it transitions to the finish cracked white pepper and graphite appear, as does even more tannins. That youthful oak and vanilla back when it was new has totally integrated now and no longer protrudes. The very long and full finish goes on for what seems like minutes. This drinks incredibly well at the moment, yet is still so primary and youthful as it approaches its 10 year anniversary. Hard to put this one down and this bottle won’t last long, that’s for sure. A killer Douro wine that has a long life ahead of it.
96 Points (96 pts.)
I have only tried the Quinta do Crasto “basic” red table wine (~$17/BTL at the time). I thought that it was a good value. I can only imagine how much better the “Maria Teresa” is. Does it still run about $70 per bottle?
I love the Reserva “Old Vines” and have had it back to the first commercial vintage, 1995, many times. It’s what Miguel Roquette, the owners son, calls his trashcan wine. As it often gets declassified Maria Teresa and Vinha da Ponte fruit in it in years that they don’t make those, or any left overs that aren’t up to snuff. Despite this bottling getting some pretty high scores on a regular basis, as in 91-93 points on average, they have purposely not raised the price on this one as they want it to remain at an accessible price point. Whereas some other Douro producers with a similar product in price and quality are now well over $50 a bottle. This is a bottling that you can buy year in and year out and still get a good product. Even poor years for dry wines in the Douro, like 2006, this bottling did very well (I own a bunch, even in large format if that tells you anything). I recommend this wine all the time as a result. A very good QPR.
Sorry Chris, realized I didn’t answer this part. This wine went through that typical phase of a bit too much oak for a short time in the mid 2000’s. Partly as that was the popular thing then as you probably know and upper quality Douro dry wines were still very new and producers were still sorting out winemaking stuff.
The 2002 and earlier bottles are far more “old school” and typically more rustic Douro. Think more old Bordeaux/Cali Cab with earthiness, mushrooms, etc. Post 2002 more modern bright fruit, good acidity, better tannin management, and of course that oak through about 2007-ish. By 2009 that oak use was being dialed way back to, IMO, a better balance for long term aging for this wine.
For me, I’ve still got some older ones I’m keeping, I’m drinking most of the middle ones*, and keeping the younger ones for longer term cellaring. Matter of fact, I recently did an offsite cleaning and brought a large sampling of Crasto’s dry wines home (by a large margin, the most Douro dry wine producer in my cellar is Crasto if that says anything, LOL). So far my sampling of these from various vintages and wines (Reserva, Touriga Nacional, Vinha da Ponte, and Maria Teresa) is still backing up this assessment.
*Of the Reserva’s and some of the Ponte’s and Maria Teresa’s. IMO, the Touriga Nacional’s have tended to absorb that oak from the middle years a bit better overall at present. However, I will put a disclaimer in here. Since no one has any experience with how these wines may or may not shut down as they age, since they are still such a young region for top end wines, I have kept some back to see how they continue to age. It is possible they are just in a phase and need time to come out of that…at least for the upper end ones (not the reserva).