Spotlight on Portuguese Dry Wine: Quinta do Roriz Prazo de Roriz 2006

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After a long hiatus, the Portuguese spotlight continues. I rarely review entry level wines, which is a shame given that simple wines often bring far greater pleasure and drinkability than their made-up counterparts, even when the underlying fruit isn’t quite as good. Palates can become fatigued with intense flavours or intensely intellectual wines. Drinkability is well underrated. The Prado de Roriz fills this niche of pleasure extremely well.

Such wines may not have the level of sophistication as the more expensive wines, but the best have a great simple charm that goes well with food and reflects regional style. With the Prazo de Roriz you will get fruity flavours, luscious texture and yet enough acid to keep the wine fresh and balanced. It also speaks of place, without being overly rustic or overly modern. This is Quinta de Roriz’ entry level wine from the Douro made with fruit sourced from the estate’s young vines between 5-10 years old, which give the wine its youthful exhuberance.

However, make no mistake that this is a ‘natural’ wine given its temperature controlled fermentations and innoculated yeasts. Nonetheless, stainless steel fermentation and high quality fruit selection successfully keep the wine both clean and speaking of place. I think the Prazo would do very well at the Thanksgiving table. This is unfortunately pretty comparatively overpriced in B.C. – it reportedly sells for $16 in Ontario. Given our market, however, I think this is worth the money.

A blend of 38% Touriga Nacional, 26% Tinta Barroca, 20% Tinta Roriz, 14% Touriga Franca, and 2% Tinto Cao.

Very Good
$29 at Everything Wine

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