Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

2017 Prats + Symington Chryseia

Can Portugal Produce a Grand Cru Red?
April 15, 2022

 

Quinta do Roriz

Quinta do Roriz      

 

The Symington family, proprietors of the fine Dow and Graham port houses decided to do just that. They partnered with Bruno Prats, retired owner of Bordeaux's 'super second’  Chateau Cos d'Estournel.

;Portugal has noble grapes - Its Touriga Nacional was recently entered into the pantheon of grapes permitted in Bordeaux. The Douro River, where those grapes are grown for port, has fine schist-influenced soils. Prime sites have been precised and cultivated in a centuries long winemaking tradition.

Bruno Prats brought a taste and technical ability developed in his long years at Cos, not to recreate a Bordeaux, but express its poise and balance using their grapes. The winemaking is a collaboration of the two families. 

Prats & Symington is 20 years old now. That time has been well spent. They now focus on two grape varieties; Touriga Nacional, giving the structure and finesse of Cabernet, and Touriga Franca to add Merlot’s breadth, and spice also. Centering on their Quinta do Roriz estate, they add the best grapes of two other nearby properties with strongly mineral soils and favorable exposures. They call their wine Chryseia, 'Golden' in Greek as Douro means in Portuguese

P&S owner Rupert Symington tells how he had been struck by the power and finesse of Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline in a vertical tasting and sought to emulate his style.

"Trust but verify," the Russian adage popularized by Ronald Reagan, is one I go by, I not only tasted it myself but I  two of the opened tasting bottles over to a friend who had the major role in bringing Guigal into the US.

I gave them to him blind, saying only that they were two vintages of an essay in making a grand vin which he had probably not tasted before, and that they had been open for 5- 6 hours.

I asked him what he thought of their quality and winemaking.

As careful with his words as his taste, he allowed that they were very good and guessed that they might have come from the Rhone or southern France. He preferred the mature 2007 to the upcoming 2017 release.

I agreed about the wines' characters. Both were from great Douro vintages. At my friend's house the 2007 had bloomed, and showed a tantalizingly sensual maturity. I was more excited by the possibilities of the 2017. I felt it showed a greater breed and finesse and would be the better wine with age and that P&S had refined their Chryseia over  the 10 years between the vintages

 

Last year we offered the 2016 which sold out very quickly . The 2017 is even better but wants some cellaring or decanting.

 

I loved it a year ago.

2017 Prats & Symington Quinta do Roriz Chryseia; Color: very dark purple opauqu; Aroma: heady broad rather deep, full, creamy broad very dense, & earthy; Mouth: clean fleshy deep, smooth lifted acidity, bright acid, perfectly elegant, a wine of finesse poised with a great future ahead; Outstanding

Wine Spectator “Powerful and refined, with polished tannins enveloping the red plum reduction and kirsch flavors, interwoven with vanilla, baking spice and dried floral details. Brooding undertones of vivid mineral, espresso and toast round out the lengthy finish. Needs a little time to unwind. Best from 2022 through 2035”

Decanter 2020" Perfumed kid glove and vanillin oak, with dried mint to the nose and attack suggesting an effusive palate; but the palate is emphatically structural. ..tight-knit, textural tannins contain the brooding spicy blackcurrant and ripe, juicy cherry and berry core. Chiselled, with a sense of mineral, dry extract and firm under-pinning, this well-focused keeper may warrant a higher score in time, once the tannins integrate. Drink 2022- 2034"

         The 2017 Chryseia has a higher-toned finesse akin to that of a fine Cote Rotie Cote Blonde, but it is neither Rhone nor Bordeaux. It has a grand vin's essential quality; It is itself and it is very, very good.

         The best news is the price. The 2017 average American price is $90. The local bargain chain is offering it at $95. We have acquired a small quantity that we can offer quite a bit less than that.

 

2017 Prats & Symington Chryseia Special $69

Special; Six bottle wooden case $354 (59)

Eight cases in  stock

 

Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com

 

           - Len Rothenberg

 


 

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