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Made from grapes traditionally used for Port, the Churchill Estates Douro 2005 is a dry table wine wine that’s lovely and robust simultaneously. Composed of 60 percent tinta roriz grapes and 40 percent touriga nacional, and aged 12 months in new and old French oak casks, this dark ruby-colored wine offers ripe, intense and spicy aromas of black currant, black cherry and plum that are fleshy, meaty and earthy. The wine is solid and firm, vibrant and resonant, and its soft, polished tannins slide across the palate like Mel Tormé whispering vowels into a smoky room. The black fruit flavors are luscious without being over-ripe, kept a little strict by the influence of acid and spicy wood, all this wrapped around a core of fruit cake and bitter chocolate. The finish gathers force with elements of briers and brambles, turning a bit autumnal and austere. This is a very impressive and appealing wine for drinking from now through 2011 or ’12 with hearty braised or grilled meat dishes. Excellent. About $24.
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York.