Crasto Superior is where the portfolio really starts complexing with the reds, with a mix of field-blend old vines and the intriguing Sousão blended with Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. This comes from Crasto's Douro Superior estate, Quinta da Cabreira, and spent 1 year in French oak. The wood is felt, but matches the potency of the cassis, cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Tannins are chewy and ripe and ample. Red medicinal fruit weaves throughout; a resinous herbal note permeates the concentration and lingers on the finish. Youthful, dense and powerful now, and best enjoyed with some time in cellar or a decant and roast lamb.
A vintage port you can drink now with pleasure or hold for 10 years. Dense purple-black in colour with a spicy blackberry/mulberry nose and evident spirits on the nose; full-bodied, sweet mulberry, well-extracted, rich and full on the palate.
Loureiro and Alvarino are the 2 best varieties used in Vinho Verde. This example shows grapey green scents with fresh green herb on the nose and lean green fruit on the smooth palate. Finishes with a touch of stony mineral.
Ruby red and rich with bright blackberry, dark currant and plum flavours, plenty of grip and concentration and a long, rich finish.
Arinto is one of my favourite underdog grapes of northern Portugal: lemony, herbal, marine and lean. Here it shines in Lisbon, from an estate established in the 16th century. This is fermented cool in stainless steel, after which it spends 5 months on the lees to fill out the wine's thin frame. Light and fresh, with that hallmark herbal lemon and pithy grapefruit pervading the linear form. Sea salts season the brisk finish. A fruitier, livelier choice than Chablis, and just as at home with oysters or spot prawns.
An alternative to Chip Dry (and my preferred white port) for Porto Tonicos. This dry white Port opens with a nice cut of citrus, orange and lemon pith. A fine vibrance and snappy acidity on the gently citrus-sweet palate. A blend of Malvasia Fina, Gouveio, Viosinho, Rabigato and Arinto.