2019 Fine Wine Champions
This year’s blind-tasting triumphs for drinking now
France 2017 En Primeur
Including special triple-region cases
The wines our members order (and reorder) most!
Delicious in the warmer 2017 vintage, the haunting fruit and silky, beautifully balanced palate of this benchmark Portuguese red will draw you further into ‘Charlotte’s Web’, Crasto’s very own eco-friendly charter.
Product Code: PW7491
View all products by Quinta do Crasto
This Douro estate has belonged to the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for over a century, but it dates back much further: the word ‘crasto’ comes from the Latin ‘castrum’, meaning Roman fort, and there are records of this estate as early as 1615.Husband and wife Jorge and Leonor have been in charge since the 1980s, and their sons Miguel and Tomás are now involved as well. Together they manage 70 hectares of vineyards on the right bank of the Douro river, which lay on terraces of schist soils. Most of the vines are over 20 years old, but the oldest date back over 100 years, and their grapes go to make up a special bottling under the Reserva Old Vines label.The grapes are local Douro varieties, including tinta roriz, touriga nacional, touriga franca and tinta barocca for the reds, and gouveio, roupeiro and rabigato for the whites.Investment in recent years has seen important updates both to vineyard organisation and winery technology – although the team still proudly upholds the tradition of crushing some of the grapes by foot in granite lagares! On the whole, however, much more modern techniques are used, with wines fermented and matured in a variety of temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks for a fresher, fruitier style.The estate is a popular wine tourism attraction, helped in part by its stunning swimming pool with panoramic views of the vineyards, and offers a variety of activities for visiting oenophiles.
Like its neighbour Spain, Portugal has been undergoing something of a quiet revolution over the last twenty years or so. A reluctance to follow trends and plant international grapes is now paying dividends and the new breed of full-blooded, fruit-filled wines are more than able to compete on the world stage. The unique flavours that are the hallmark of Portugal's indigenous grape varieties have become its trump card. Vinho Verde, sometimes spritzy and youthful and sometimes made with the aim of creating a more serious white wine, is in the verdant north-west, bordering the Spanish province of Galicia. A wet and fertile area, the grapes ripen with moderate sugar levels and refreshing acidity, meaning that the wines are usually lowish in alcohol at about 10-11%. Astringent, low alcohol red Vinho Verde is also produced. Trás-os-Montes is a remote region of harsh winters and hot, dry summers in the north-east of the country is bound on one side by high mountains and on the other the border with Spain (the name means 'behind the mountains'. The schistous soils and the grapes are similar to those of the Douro. Reds are often lighter and more aromatic than those of neighbouring Douro.The Douro is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world, and deservedly Portugal's best known, the Douro has quickly emerged to lead the way as the country's premium wine region and there is a real pioneering spirit amongst the winemakers here, port shippers included. Although there is an enormous variety of different terroirs within the Douro Valley, this is essentially a sparsely populated, hot, arid region where grapes are grown on spectacularly steep terraced slopes. Wine grapes are the same as those that go into Port. Wines tend to be high in tannin and flavour.Dão is south of the Douro on granite slopes protected by high mountains and pine forests. The region produces one of Portugal's better-known reds of the same name. Once dominated by rather lack-lustre co-operatives, the area now has a whole clutch of dynamic, small producers making elegant, approachable and enjoyable wines.Between the mountains and the coast, on fertile clay soils, is Bairrada (barro is Portuguese for clay). Better known for red wines, this is one of the only wine regions in Portugal to be dominated by a single grape variety,the tannic, high-acid baga, making wines that can be tough and astringent in their youth but which soften with age, becoming beguilingly perfumed. These days many blend baga with non-indigenous grapes to make a friendlier style, but the greatest are pure baga. The area also benefits from late-afternoon breezes which favour the production of fresh, food-friendly whites and increasingly popular sparkling wines.Beira Interior is a rather disparate region covering a vast swathe of inland Portugal south of the Douro and east of Dão. Vineyards are grown at altitude on granite soils. In the north, grapes are similar to those of the Douro while the south has a whole mix of varieties. Lisboa is a large, coastal region that runs north from Lisbon. Atlantic breezes help cool the vineyards and maintain the fresh acidity and aromatics in the mostly white wines. North of Bucelas, on the Atlantic west coast lies the strip of rolling countryside that contains nine separate DOCs under the umbrella name of Lisboa. This is Portugal's largest wine producing region in volume terms.Bucelas was the first wine The Society ever sold! This tiny DOC is one of the closest to Lisbon. It produces breezy dry whites which are popular locally.Tejo was formerly known as Ribatejo is known for good, everyday drinking wines in a range of styles from a wide range of permitted grapes. This region lies on either side of the River Tagus Lying across the mouth of theTagus river, the Península de Setúbal is a flat, sandy region with the exception of the Serra da Arrábida a short chain of mountains with clay and limestone soils. There are two DOCs here, Palmela north-east of the peninsula where the castelão grape is ideally suited to the sandy soils, and Setúbal, where a sweet fortified wine is made primarily from muscat of Alexandria.The Alentejo province stretches south from the Tagus to the Algarve and east to the border with Spain and covers almost a third of continental Portugal. Divided into seven diverse sub-regions, the undulating hills are home to many crops. Despite the challengingly arid climate here, this is a dynamic region, referred to sometimes as Portugal's 'new world'.
There are no member reviews for this product. Click the 'Leave a Review' button to be the first.
There are no press reviews for this product.
"Nice and fruity but with a touch of acid on the way down. I recommend you spend an extra £4.75 and get the Crasto Superior Douro 2015 for £14.50, which is an excellent wine. But for the price this one is as good as many and better than some more expensive reds."
Mr Ronald Chalmers (05-Nov-2018)
"This has long been a favourite wine of mine and this did not disappoint. Lovely colour and deep flavour of berries with balanced tannins. Perhaps another year in the bottle would make it even better."
Mr Richard W Taylor (08-Sep-2018)
"Rich, dark fruits flavours with a hint of cherries and quite full bodied. The aroma is gorgeous and quite strong. The taste, whilst very pleasant, doesn't quite live up to the promise of the nose. Firm tannins but balanced. Price vs quality and enjoyment about right to my mind. "
Mr John Lay (19-Jul-2018)
"This has a rich base of damsons, morello cherries and chocolate. The tannin is composed and managed, making this quite approachable. Will be gorgeous with roasts or summer barbecues - if you want a bit of quality!! We loved it with a lasagne and rosemary roast potatoes. It could also be drug instead of a Rioja or Bordeaux 14/20 on the Parsons' Scale!!"
Mr Robert M Parsons (26-May-2018)
"A pretty good price for a Douro. Not over powerful. Worked well with sea bass stuffed with tomatoes and olives."
Mr Richard Hadfield (08-May-2018)
"Not quite as 'big' as I thought it may be. Nice wine though."
Mr James Roberts (07-May-2018)
"Deep red/black inky colour. Very well structured with a long lingering finish. Great with cheese but don’t be put off as it’s equally as good on its own. Suspect it would work well with lamb/beef/steak
Couldn’t find this wine at less than £13 from others...so great value from WS again
It’s a definite recommendation"
Mr Tom Rodger (02-Mar-2018)
"A lovely, drinkable wine. We have steered away from the cheaper end of the Portugese wine lists in the past but decided to give this a try.
A deep flavour with a nice long finish. Drink on it's own or with meat, delicious.
We have re-ordered and would recommend it."
Mr Russ Barton (24-Feb-2018)
"Having found many good wines from Portugal I added this and another at the £9.50 price point to round up an order. We drank it with friends over a late lunch of spicy lamb which it complemented very well. Nicely rounded and with enough body to cope with strong food flavours, generously fruity but not excessively so.
If I'd had a second bottle I'm sure it would have been cracked open too. It's in my Wish List already so looking forward to ordering some more. Good value."
Mr John Tidy (09-Feb-2018)
"This went down a storm at a recent dinner party. V smooth with raspberry and dark cherry flavours and a good depth that lingers. Will definitely order more ."
Mr Symon Dungey (14-Jan-2018)
"Very pleasant indeed, particularly on its own. Will be ordering again."
Mr Ray Mount (27-Dec-2017)
"Chocolate and cherry. Not too shabby"
Mr Paul Darwin (13-Apr-2017)
Chase Magazine (2nd Oct 2017)
"Rich and velvety with a nice floral nose. - David Clay"
Lancashire Evening Post (24th Apr 2017)
"Intensely fruity with
blackberry and raspberry aromas which burst out as delicious ripe flavours on
the palate. Plenty of silky tannins to work with food. - Colin Burbidge"
"Very nice rounded rich ripe with blackberry notes.Excellent with food.9/10"
Mr Andrew Swann (23-Nov-2014)
"The 2011 was excellent, just the right balance of structure, oak and fruit. Hope the 2012 is as good."
Mr John Pilsbury (15-Nov-2014)
Sunday Express (1st Mar 2015)
"This is a superb wine
for the money, offering sleek, ripe, black-cherry and blackberry fruit with a
lovely texture. It’s made by Quinta Do Crasto, one of the most acclaimed
wineries in northern Portugal’s Douro Valley, and would be great served with lamb and dates. - Jamie Goode"
JancisRobinson.com (13th Mar 2014)
"Spicy, energetic. A
tad 'modern'. But it could not come from anywhere else. Dry finish. - Jancis Robinson"
"Putting together a Portuguese wine tasting here in Florida the crasto will feature. A delightful full bodied wine which should make the locals appreciate wine from a great country."
Mr Peter Humphrey (12-Jan-2014)
"Enjoyed a bottle of this last night with steak and chips. The only problem was there was only one bottle! Beautifully smooth but also good depth of flavour. The embossed label has style too :-)"
Dr Stuart R Hutchison (04-Dec-2013)
Sunday Express (9th Feb 2014)
"Here's a brilliant,
rich but supple red at a great price. From Portugal's spectacular Douro region,
it's bursting with sweet, smooth, black-cherry and blackberry fruits. - Jamie Goode"
Decanter (8th Jan 2014)
"From one of the
Douro's greatest producers and a melange of indigenous varieties, this is dense
and herb-infused, with dark fruit and an appealing wild streak. It is lifted on
the palate with red fruits making an appearance, bolstered by notes of spice, charcoal
and minerals. - Weekday Wines"
Woman & Home (4th Oct 2013)
"A key member of a
dynamic group called the Douro Boys, this sleek, scented, sensitively oaked red
is soft and ripe, with sweet spicy clove and blackberry fruit intensity, and a
long finish. - Tim Atkin"
The Daily Telegraph (14th Sep 2013)
This Douro red is consistently good and always popular when
I show it at tastings. Rich, soft and spicy enough to please those who like big
reds but bright and tannic enough to satisfy the old guard too, it’s a welcome
all-rounder to take you into autumn. Technically speaking a blend of Tinta
Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, but more simply
classified as a happy wine.
- Victoria Moore
The Times (2nd Mar 2013)
"Dating back to 1615, Crasto makes a range of seductive wines. Even this humble red delivers sensational, herby, spiced sloe and damson fruit. - Jane MacQuitty"
"I'm not a fan of this wine. It tastes a great deal like port but watered down. I love port and I like water but not in the same glass. I can see that others might like it."
Dr Brock Chisholm (24-Sep-2012)
Log in to view notes
By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.
You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.
4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?
4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?
Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.
The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.
The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.
4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?
We use the following three types of cookies:
220.127.116.11. Strictly Necessary CookiesThese cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
18.104.22.168. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking CookiesThese cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
22.214.171.124. Performance/analytical cookiesThese cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
126.96.36.199. Authentication CookieIn order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.
4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?
All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.
4.4.6. Learn more about cookies