Nestled on a privileged location in the Douro, Quinta do Crasto is one of the oldest winemaking estates in the region – the name ‘Crasto’ is derived from the Latin word ‘castrum’, which translates as ‘Roman fort’. The first known references to Quinta do Crasto can be traced back to 1615, long before the Douro became the world’s first Demarcated Wine Region in 1756.
After its purchase by Constantino de Almeida in the early 20th century, the winery has stayed within the family and is now under the ownership of Leonor Roquette, her husband, Jorge, and their three children. Their family affair broadened their offerings to Douro DOC wines after renovating and acquiring vineyard space and quality facilities throughout the region. These bottlings have put the region’s still wines on a global stage—showing what this historical region can do with the techniques and terroir special to Douro.
The Douro is a region with a long history of winemaking traditions with grape varieties and techniques suited to its sense of place. It’s the birthplace of timeless Port wines and more recently has become a prime location for unique, flavorful still wines, unlike any others.
These wines have gained in popularity since the 1990s and today, the Douro is an exciting region to watch as producers combine ancient varieties and modern winemaking techniques, in a setting so distinctive that it was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
Crasto DOC White 2018 – Douro DOC (available now SRP $20)
This white wine is made from grapes chosen from the estate’s selected plots and is a blend of indigenous varieties—40 percent Viosinho, 30 percent Gouveio, and 30 percent Rabigato. Eight-five percent of the blend is aged in stainless steel, while the other 15 is fermented and aged in used French oak with lees stirring for three months. The result is a textured and layered white wine with aromas and flavors of orange blossom and soft citrus with a line of minerality that lingers long after the last sip.
Final Thoughts: Pale lemon in color, with lively aromas of orange blossom and citrus fruit. Fresh and elegant on the palate, it shows excellent volume and texture, and pleasant, well-integrated notes of minerality. A seductive wine that finishes fresh, balanced and persistent.
Crasto Superior Red 2016 – Douro DOC (available now SRP $29)
This wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Souzão. The grapes are sourced from the estate’s Quinta da Cabreira property located in the Douro Superior sub-region. The wine is aged in French oak for 12 months, and the result is a voluminous red wine with integrated tannins and dense flavors of wild berries touched with spice.
Final Thoughts: Deep purple in color. On the nose the wine shows fresh wild berry fruit that are well integrated with light notes of spice. Balanced on the palate, evolving into a wine of great volume, with a compact structure made of thick-textured tannins. The finish is elegant, fresh and lingering.
Reserva Old Vines 2016 – Douro DOC (available now SRP $45)
The Reserva Old Vines is a blend of 25 to 30 different varieties from parcels of vines that are an average of 70-years-old. The wine is aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels. The wine has an elegant complexity but firm in its mature flavors of berry fruit, with high notes of white florals and bass tones of cacao.
The nose is very expressive, revealing the unique characteristics of its old vines: complex aromas of fresh gum cistus and berry fruit well integrated with light cocoa hints. Elegant on the palate, evolving into a firm wine, with excellent volume and a compact structure made of fresh, velvety-textured tannins. This is a wine with a distinctive identity and a long lingering, balanced finish. This bold red pairs well with venison, beef and pasta dishes.
Touriga Nacional 2016 – DOC Douro (available now SRP $78)
The Touriga Nacional grape has become synonymous with Douro and the region’s Port wines, and for this bottling, the grapes are taken from the best plots of Quinta do Crasto’s estates and spends 18 months in French oak. It has Touriga Nacional’s signature purple hue and aromas of violets, fresh spice, and berries. It is structured by firm tannins and acidity.
Released only in the finest years, this wine is made with 100% Touriga Nacional. Lively and deep in color with intense ripe fruit aromas and notes of oak. Soft and round in the palate with everything is in balance. Long and spicy finish. Deep purple in color. The nose shows elegant notes of violet with delicate hints of fresh spice and wild berry fruit. Well-balanced on the palate, evolving into a wine of excellent volume, with fine-textured tannins and aromas of violet. The finish is fresh and lingering.
Disclosure: We received these wines in exchange for our honest review. The opinions expressed in our review are our own. No other compensation was given.