We were very excited to try this wine, everything we read pointed towards it being a great choice. This wine has been aged in French and American oak for 6 months, and comes from the High Douro (Douro Superior), a region known to produce top notch Ports. We had heard good things about this wine, among others from the same producer, so we decided to go for it – and we were not disappointed.
Our first impression was that the wine was very fresh, with a clear exotic fruit smell and subtle hints of lemon. Going a little deeper you catch a bit of minerals, clearly from schist.
Tasting it, all of the flavors open up, and that’s when this wine really surprises you. The oak really brought the best out of the grapes in this blend, with an overall creaminess, pending towards dryness and a certain lightness, with a medium finish. We had a little bit of a discussion about this, because other people who tried it described it as being slightly heavy and with a long finish. We feel that the creaminess perhaps adds to a feeling of boldness and a longer finish, but what really stands out is how well balanced this wine is. As you keep drinking, you also realize just how complex it is: the fruit blends in with the floral aromas and the minerals, and not even a 13.5% alcohol content makes this wine feel harsh at all. You get a hint of acidity towards the end, which made it perfect for our meal of choice.
We had it with a creamy, cheese and herb chicken dish, and the blend worked perfectly. We feel like this wine would also go great with fish, especially fattier fish, bolder shellfish like lobster or tiger prawns, and also creamy cheeses.
The winemaker, Rui Roboredo Madeira, is a proud member of the new wake of Douro winemakers who are changing the way wine is made in the Douro. According to what we’ve read, his main cellar is in São João da Pesqueira, which is a bit off the main tourist track in the Douro, but we definitely hope to arrange a visit next time we go there. Along with this Reserve White, Castello D’Alba has a large selection of whites, reds and even ports, and the winemaker has other wines they make from other estates in the Douro – and some in the Vinho Verde and the Beira region, which we’re now very curious about trying.