A classy white from Dão
Wine production in the Dão region has undergone profound changes over recent years and it is the new wave of producers who are really asserting the identity of the region these days. The white Encruzado grape, used mostly as a varietal, can take much of the credit for the restored reputation of what was once Portugal’s most highly reputed region for red wines.
Druida is a relatively new wine, first produced in 2012 from a small lot of Encruzado grapes that was originally planted in 1992 at an altitude of 500 metres. But last year, in a blind tasting of top Portuguese whites, it got a rating of 92 points in Decanter Magazine, quite an achievement for a wine priced at less than €20 (€18.95 at Apolónia).
The Encruzado grape with careful oak work is often compared to white Burgundy, and that is what we have here.
This is a wine of great depth and complexity; the 2017 is still a little too young to be fully appreciated, the oak coming to the front on the nose but certainly not overpowering the grassy, herbal and white fruit aromas. In the mouth, the wine is full and flavoursome with great acidity, a citric undertone, and a long and luscious finish. After a couple of years bottle-ageing, this is going to be something very special indeed, but it is already drinking very well.
By Patrick Stuart