Wednesday, July 02, 2008

2005 Churchill Estates Tinto

Region: Douro
Country: Portugal
Alcohol: 13%
Price: €15,00
Closure: Cork

Churchill Estates is a relative newcomer to the world of port, having been founded by Johnny Graham in 1981.  Like many other producers in the Douro, Churchill has also started producing tables wines based on the traditional port varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Touriga Franca.   This is the second of their table wines, the 2005 Churchill Estates Tinto. 

The wine is produced from the Tinto Roriz (60%) and Touriga Nacional (40%) varieties.  Tinto Roriz, also known as tempranilla in Spain (the star of Rioja) and aragonez in Portugal, has small grapes with a thick skin which produces wines of intense colour depth.  It generally produces wines with lower acid and tannin in warmer climates such as the Douro.  Touriga Nacional on the other hand is a grape producing wines with massive colour and big tannins.  The real star of the Douro, it provides structure, generally high acidity, powerful tannins and deep, powerful aromas.

Anyway here's what I thought of it:

Really great colour; deep, dense and purple.  On the nose it's powerful with red and black fruits, and gives the impression that this will be a big wine.  The palate is, however, more elegance than power and exhibits smooth, soft, sweet black fruit backed by cedar-like oak.   Fruit is fresh and grippy tannins quite elegant.  Nice black fruit finish completes a really elegant wine.   Churchill aims to produce elegant, balanced wines rather than over the top, overripe fruit bombs which is exactly what they have achieved.  Attractive and impressive wine that I definitely recommend.

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