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Review: Dry Portuguese Wines from Symington, 2019 Releases

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Symington is best known for its Port houses — Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, and more — but it also produces dry table wines from Portugal’s Douro, including the trio reviewed here. All are current releases. Thoughts follow.

2017 Altano Naturalmente Douro Branco White – This blend of malvasia fina, viosinho, rabigato, and moscatel galego comes across a bit like a sauvignon blanc, both grassy and tropical, with notes of almonds and floral honeysuckle building over time. Creamy but with moderate acidity, it’s a surprisingly complex wine and an affordable, versatile crowd-pleaser on the whole. B+ / $10

2016 Altano Naturalmente Douro Red – A blend of touriga franca, tinta roriz and tinta barroca. Immediately off-putting. The nose evokes musty hamper, the palate a dense licorice and mushroom character, with the lightest smattering of fruit atop it. The essence of Port is buried deep within the bowels of the wine, a chewy and slightly pruny character that takes some time in glass to slowly reveal some modest charm. On the whole, it’s simple too weighted down by its own faux gravitas. B- / $11

c – A blended wine heavy on touriga nacional and touriga franca, major Port grapes. You can really taste the essence of vintage Port in this wine, with notes of raisin, licorice, and spice all present, just without the sweetness. A tannic edge includes notes of savory bacon and a duskier, earthier spice character. A bit chewy, but quite a delight. A- / $23

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Altano Naturalmente Douro Red

$23
9

Rating

9.0/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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