Tue 19 May 2009
Fire up the grills, backyard cooks, the weather is sweet and balmy, the sky is clear and blue — temporarily, anyway, we’ve had an especially rainy month of May — and a ribeye steak with the voice of a Siren seductively calls. With that steak, hot and crusty from the coals, you would be wise to open a bottle of the Quinta do Crasto “Crasto” 2006, from Portugal’s Douro Valley.
It took the venerable producers of port a surprisingly long time to realize that they could take the same grapes that port in its many varieties is made from and fashion table wines for popular consumption. That movement really got underway in the 1980s, and now scarcely any port house does not also have a line-up of table wines made from tinta roriz, tinta barroca, touriga franca and touriga nacional.
Crasto 2006 is a fine example. One is greeted by amazing aromas of rose hips and lavender, briers and brambles, black currents and plums and wild berries. There’s nothing understated here but also nothing exaggerated or eccentric, though a beguiling note of exoticism creeps in. In the mouth, the dark ruby-colored wine is ripe, earthy and meaty, bursting with flavors of black cherry and plum, sweet spices, potpourri and minerals, all grounded on underbrush and mossy elements, dusty, chewy tannins and vibrant acidity. Bring on that steak, that pork chop marinated in Southwestern spices, that leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary. Drink now through 2011 or ’12. Very Good+. About $20.
Imported by Broadbent Selections, San Francisco.
My linkedin profile.