Pacheca Grande Reserva 2011 – Douro, Portugal

This powerhouse greets the nose with a blend of peppery spice, moss, black fruit, raisins, and cocoa.  The front palate gets a kick in the face from fresh strawberries and cocoa, and a hint of pepper.  Black rubber, old leather, cocoa, faint vanilla, and red fruits are pulled together by powerful (but no too) tannins and a peppery finish.  This is a true reserva, with all the aged wisdom that comes with that.  It was fantastic with roasted pork, and I imagine it paring well with any version of parillada.

  • Rating: Impressive
  • Name: Pacheca Grande Reserva 2011
  • Winery: Quinta da Pacheca
  • Region: Douro
  • Country: Portugal
  • Varietals: Touriga Nacional
  • Price: $?
  • Where to Buy: Lisbon


Crasto 2013 Douro – Douro, Portugal

IMG_259835% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tina Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Barroca. Nice red fruit up front, strawberries and cherries. Crushed violets into a peppery finish. Just enough tannin to hold it all together with a smack of leather. One of the more well-balanced and accessible Portuguese offerings. This wine doesn’t knock your socks off, but it’s well-rounded and can go well with a lot of things, from tomato pasta sauces to smoked or grilled meats. Ranges from $12-16 as carried by Whole Foods on P Street.

  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Crasto 2013 Douro
  • Winery: Quinta do Crasto
  • Region: Douro
  • Country: Portugal
  • Varietals: 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tina Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Barroca
  • Price: $12-$16
  • Where to Buy: Whole Foods, 1440 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005