October 30, 2007
Altano 2005 Douro, 13 percent alcohol, about $8
Portugal's Douro Valley is most famous for the rich, sweet Port wines it puts out, but the region makes excellent dry wines as well.
Here's proof, and at a bargain price. A blend of tinta roriz and touriga franca - the same grapes that go into Port wines - this has the cherry-berry flavors and whiff of herbs that you'd expect from a Port, only it's dry. With plenty of acidity, it feels light on its feet even though it packs plenty of fruit, and it carries enough tannin to take on a double-cut pork chop with ease. No wonder - it's made by the Symington family - owners of Port houses Warre, Dow, Graham, Smith Woodhouse, Gould Campbell and Quinta do Vesuvio.
Imported by Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, Ala.
This first appeared in the Denver Post.