wines from the Symingtons: Altano, Chryseia and Roriz
Travessa Barão de Forrester 86, 4401-997 Vila Nova
de Gaia, Portugal
British Port giant the Symington group, who own the well
known Port houses Grahams, Warre and Dows among others, turned
their sights on Douro table wines a few years back with the
affordable Altano, and the more ambitious premium wine Chryseia, a
joint venture with Bruno Prats. Also in their portfolio is Quinta
de Roriz, which is another joint venture – the Quinta is owned
by João van Zeller
Altano has disappointed in the past: it’s been a bit
anonymous. Yes, it’s a cheap wine, retailing at £4.99, but if
it doesn’t display any real Douro character, what’s the point?
Fortunately, 2005 is much better than previous vintages, and I’d
recommend this as a value-for-money introduction to Douro table
Chryseia was first made in 2000, and wasn’t made in
2002: I found 2000, 2001 and 2003 good in a certain style of wine,
although I don’t really like the extremely ripe,
‘international’ style that I felt they fell into. With 2004
and 2005 it seems there’s a bit more restraint, and a touch less
sweetness, which makes them taste more like I’d expect a Douro
wine to – I reckon they’re better for it. The 2005 tasted here
is a very nice wine.
Roriz has been on form from the beginning, offering a
lovely, forward, ripe modern style of Douro wine, and with second
wine Prazo one of the Douro’s best value reds. Again, they tend
to the riper, sweeter end of the fruit spectrum, but they’re not
over the top.
Altano 2005 Douro
Fresh, spicy nose is nicely savoury. The palate is quite rich
and mouthfilling, with a rounded, spicy character and good
definition. This is much better than previous vintages of Altano.
86/100 (UK retail c. £5)
Prazo de Roriz 2005 Douro
Sweet, ripe, open spicy nose is quite lush with a sweet
herbiness. It’s a bit ‘dusty’, but in a nice way. The ripe,
lush palate has nice spicy definition to the generous fruit.
Really nice wine. 88/100 (UK retail c. £8)
Quinta de Roriz Reserva 2003 Douro
Lush, ripe, nicely defined nose is really full and intense.
Quite rich and bold: ripe, a bit porty. The palate has a bit of
freshness to the very ripe, dense fruit, with nice acidity backing
up the firm bright tannins which support the fat, bold fruit.
Postscriptum de Chryseia
Smooth, ripe dark fruits nose is quite lush and ripe with a
bit of definition. The palate is fresh and bright with lovely
seamless, ripe dark fruits and some structure. Very nicely judged.
Chryseia 2005 Douro
Lovely dark, intense, rich spicy nose shows nice aromatics and
good definition, despite the richness of the fruit. The palate is
spicy and dense, in a very ripe, almost ‘new world’ style with
sweet dark fruit. But it tastes of the Douro, still. Very
an earlier review of the wines of the
also: an introduction to Port;
the Douro table wine revolution;
tasting notes of Portuguese wines; Portugal's
top red wines