Wednesday Wines – Episode 73 – Prats & Symington’s finest releases to date

Episode 73 – 18th August 2021

Prats + Symington’s finest releases to date

Prats & Symington was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between the well-known Bordeaux winemaker Bruno Prats and the Symington Family, owners of some of the most important Port Houses in the Douro.  The wines produced by the partnership have been at the forefront of the DOC Douro quality revolution.  I have written about them extensively in the past, but nothing comes close to this trio of wines that I tasted recently.

2017 Prazo de Roriz, Prats + Symington, Douro, Portugal £12.90, www.vinvm.co.uk; £15.49, www.baythornewines.co.uk; £14.95, www.slurp.co.uk

Vineyards – Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro Grape varieties – 35% Touriga Franca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz and 20% mixed varieties

I am a huge fan of this wine, not least because it is very much a scaled-down and less oaky version of the two big boys.  There is always so much class and breeding on display, and it is the immediacy of drinking and succulence that wins me over, coupled with the extraordinary value for money.  Balanced, layered, drinking and evocative, it sings of its vineyards and the wild surroundings of the Douro Valley. 17/20

2018 Post Scriptum de Chryseia, Prats + Symington, Douro, Portugal £18.50, www.farehamwinecellar.co.uk; £19.00, www.thewinesociety.com

Vineyards – Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro

Grape varieties – 58% Touriga Nacional, 39% Touriga Franca and 3% Tinta Roriz

The ‘second wine’ of Chryseia is tremendous in 2018, and it is a very much more structured and oak-driven wine than Prazo, which maintains a more mellow mood.  I would go further and say that 2018 Post Scriptum looks smarter than some of the not too distant Chryseia vintages.  This is thanks to the quality of the 2018 harvest and also the incremental improvements that have been made to this wine over the years.  The perfume is sensational, and the mid-palate is packed with black fruit, but the finish is where the energy and drive come, from and it manifests itself in a magnificent set of tannins.  While you can drink this wine now, I would certainly be tempted to hold off for two or three years. 17.5+/20

2018 Chryseia, Prats + Symington, Douro, Portugal £59.95, www.slurp.co.uk; £480.00 in bond per dozen, www.farrvintners.com

Vineyards – Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro

Grape varieties – 55% Touriga Franca and 45% Touriga Nacional

The first words I wrote in my tasting book were, ‘best Chryseia to date’.  This is an incredible wine with so much character and accuracy it is impressive.  I have visited this property and felt the aura emanating from these historic vineyards.  This wine manages to bottle these mysterious elements allowing them to embed themselves into the intense, majestic and deeply fruited body of the two Touriga grapes.  While this will be a long-lived wine, there is no doubt that it will appeal to impatient palates, too, given its tremendous and immediate appeal.  I feel that this famous wine label is finally showing its full potential, and it has joined the pantheon of truly great red wine styles of the world in the 2018 vintage.  19+/20