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Alternate Altano

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Douro 2010, Organic / Biologique, Altano ($16.95, 11157097)
Altano is owned by the Symington family of Port fame. This is a 100% Touriga Nacional made from grapes grown in the estate’s three organcially farmed vineyards, planted in the 1980s, in the Vilariça Valley in the Douro Superior sub-region, near the Spanish border. After manual sorting, the grapes are fermented at 25-26ºC in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with extended maceration and regular pump-overs. The wine is matured ten months in second-vintage French oak barrels. 12.9% ABV.
Fragrant – blackberry, blueberry and spice – at first but then shut down (or maybe my sinuses shut down). Medium-bodied and thus lighter than most Douros (which regularly clock in at 14%, 15% and even 15.5%), and all the better for it. Sweet-fruited at its core but also savoury with slate, old wood, a faint stemminess and a bitter plum pit note. The tannins are light, pervasive and just a little raspy and there’s plenty of acidity to brighten and sour the fruit. Finishes dry and surprisingly long. Nothing profound but fresh, tasty and, as the French untranslatably say, digeste. A natural with grilled pork or chicken and a definite step up from the regular Altano. Oddly, though this is a new arrival, there aren’t many bottles around. (Buy again? Yes.)

Written by carswell

July 12, 2013 at 09:29

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