Precious Slate Pit Peauty: Quinta do Vale Raposa Touriga Nacional 2001, Douro

Once again I have no real clue about today’s winery. I know: it is a Douro wine, it was made form 100% Touriga Nacional (apparently, but praiseworthy – especially for a still affordable price) - by the way one of my most favourite varietals. What else do I know? I know the Quinta Vale do Raposa is owned by the Alves de Sousa family and my last fact: I know that the vines were cultivated on slate soil on the banks of the Corgo River. Maybe you guys can help me out and tell me something about this winery. Maybe even about this specific wine. Sorry for my incompetence :-(.

Whatever, the focus ought to be on the wine. Only the wine. Not the endless jibberjabber!

Surprisingly the colour wasn’t brown’ish-red. It actually looked pretty energetic. Only on in the corona regio there were some brown discolorations. The rest was very blue-red without sparkles. The nose was very typical for Touriga Nacional. I spotted tons of fresh dark olives, plenty of dark cherries, some thyme, some violets, some impressions of pizza with anchovies, black pepper, well roasted nuts, mocha, gentle and precise smoke, hints of noodle water and here and there some brambles and cassis fruit. After some hours the first minor impressions of beastly dark Brazilian cigars gained more and more power. Altogether a very intense, complex and somehow gentle or rugged aristocratic or country gentry’ish nose. The impressive aristo-complexity continued. The first sips appeared to me unusually fruitful with straight forward flavours of bright berries. Maybe a bit kitsch’y and sweet’y, too. This impression did not last too long. Maybe it just happened in my head?! Anyway, who knows!?! These one-sided and admittedly awkward impressions eased pretty quickly. They somehow melded with the appearing masculine and unbound animal-like flavours I dearly love so much. I got flavours of dark overripe-cherries, mixed ethereal features, tons of mineral features (pure slate juice), dark olives, ebony, uncanny strong smoke (beautiful one + the already mentioned Brazilian tobacco) and quite a lot of not very fruitful brambles + cassis flavours. Tannin: after 10 years, was still amazingly present – but a lot of silk anyway, the acid: strong, but appropriate, the concentration: WOW (not overpowered) and the finish: simply extraterrestrially magnífico fantástico. I will let you guys know, if it will finish someday ;-). Well, what conclusion can I state: elegance, masculinity, smoke, hard, slate stone pit, austere, fruit etc. … belo!

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