RKS Wine: Crasto A Classic Douro Red

I will admit I have a soft spot for Quinta do Crasto perched above the Douro River in Portugal. Going out in the fields and trying grapes on the vine and then trying to trace them in the wine. Eating lunch with the field workers which you often do as a journalist visiting a quinta (estate) and the food is simple but well prepared and tasty. No special gastronomical treatment for visiting journalists to a quinta except perhaps for an evening meal.

Crasto is a red blend from the Douro that is a perennial favourite at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. I recall its quality as being high. But do not convince popularity with quality. There are some popular wines at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I suppose we should check out this Crasto which is a blend of classic Douro grapes Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca.

The wine is purplish in colour. A big hit of blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and a twist of black licorice. On the plate the tannins are moderate. This full- bodied wine is dry with notes of blueberry pie, blueberries, cassis and plum preserves. This is one simple but an excellent and pure wine. Neither rustic nor elegant let’s say it has the highest pedigree.

As for food excellent with Portuguese ox as so many Douro reds are. But a dearth of Portuguese ox in Canada means beef will have to do preferably rare to medium rare. We have a surplus of wild boar in Canada and I’d love to make a Tuscan Wild Boar Stew with a Saskatchewan wild boar. And speaking of game this would suit venison or some Moose Burgers. For vegheads Mushroom Ragout over Polenta and using this wine to make the ragout sauce will make it a very rich dish that would match perfectly!

Given its moderate tannins this wine could age well up to 2027.

(Crasto 2019 Douro DOC, Quinta do Crasto, Sabrosa, Portugal, $18.95, LCBO # 81588, 14%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100)

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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