Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinha Maria Teresa 2003
WA96: The 2003 “Vinha Maria Teresa” is the latest version of this special bottling. The fruit here is a little closed on opening, but with air it goes from closed to simply stunning and utterly delicious. It is sweet and fragrant, chock full of beautiful fruit and full bodied. The succulent fruit has a certain raspberry note turning to black cherry in the background. The tannins keep emerging with aeration, demonstrating this wine’s ageworthy nature and providing considerable grip on the finish. As it wakes up, it becomes rather piercing, penetrating and pointed in the mid-palate, then the fruit begins to expand and the flavors become ever more exuberant. The deft hand with the tannins provides support and firmness without being overbearing. This was simply beautiful on Day 1, and it was vibrant the next day as well, although it took a long while to soften even then and become more harmonious. There were times early on when it seemed a bit disjointed and a little heady, but this ultimately resolved beautifully, so well, in fact, that it might just be the pick of the litter. Although I think that this will cellar well, I’d hate to lose that gloriously sweet fruit with age. I’d suggest drinking some early and holding some, but given the small production levels, most people won’t get much of this. Take comfort in knowing that no decision will be really wrong. It could use a couple of years to pull together.