Quinta da Pellada
Dao - Portugal
The 2011 Carrocel Quinta da Pellada was aged for 22 months in two-year-old year old French oak and just bottled in November, 2013. It is 100% Touriga Nacional. Of all the wines here, this is easily the most interesting, and perhaps the most concentrated, while still retaining the elegance and grace Castro’s wines typically show. It is surprisingly fresh and aromatic considering the time in oak, and it is already integrating its oak well. In its own, understated way, it is also quite sexy, showing those beautiful aromatics and fine flavor on the crisp finish. This is pretty pricey, but I suspect a lot of folks who lean to the elegance side of the equation will find this beautifully balanced wine irresistible and completely enchanting. I liked it a lot on Day 1. Day 2 sealed the deal, when it woke up and kept getting better, showing ripe tannins and those still-glorious aromatics. It was never obvious, making its bones with finesse. This is not a wine to bring out to a tasting where everyone gets an ounce. This is a wine to sip through the evening. It was quite unevolved when I saw it, but I think in time it will have many stories to tell all evening long. The price point and scarcity (related issues, to be sure) will likely exclude many consumers, but this is the pick of the litter of the winery’s submissions for this issue, granting that there is some leaning up for potential. If you like Castro’s style – size isn’t everything, and elegance has its rewards – it is one of those wines that will keep growing on you. Drink now-2031.