Altano Douro – Organically farmed

Following on from last week’s Kopke rosé from the Douro, here is another great and reasonably priced wine from the region, this time from Symington Estates. The green colour on the labelling had me pick this one up thinking it was a white wine and thence depositing it in the fridge, only to discover it was a red upon opening a few days later!

As it so happened, this full-bodied fruity red turned out to be very well suited to chilling. Many wine connoisseurs would disagree with me but each summer I look for reds with up-front fruit and little or no noticeable oak along with rounded tannins that can be served straight from the fridge or even from the ice bucket for those hot summer days. This Altano Douro certainly hits the spot.

It is produced from Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca grapes, a typical Douro blend. The organically grown grapes are sorted by hand and gently crushed under gravity before being fermented in stainless steel then aged for 9 to 10 months in 2nd year French Oak. This results in the well-rounded tannins and very subtle hints of vanilla from the 2nd year oak. On the nose there is a fragrance of violet with full-on forest fruit berry flavours and peppery spice to finish.

There is great purity of flavour, something that the producers attribute to their organic farming techniques, this is arguable, but it is undoubtedly a very well-made Douro red representing good value for money at around 7 euros. We found it in Apolónia and Pão de Açúcar / Jumbo supermarkets.