One of the things I love about fine wine is how it changes in the glass, the way an intriguing new acquaintance can reveal different facets of his or her personality over the course of a long evening conversation. Quinta de Roriz's 2006 Prazo, which I picked up in the spring, was a silky dance partner, settling into a smooth rhythm, then spinning away across the floor before returning with a new flourish.
This Portuguese red—a blend of the traditional Port varieties Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Tinta Cão, aged 7 months in oak—was bold, with sweet berry and plum, yet zingy enough to work with pizza and pasta pomodoro. Each time I went back to it, I found something different. On the first sip, I picked up a prune note on the finish, which later kicked into spice, then moved on to dark chocolate. At one point, the wine softened notably, turning mostly plummy. By the end of the second glass, it had settled into raspberry, cream and spice—and remained that way the next night, adding a little smoky cocoa to the finish. 92 points, non-blind.
Prazo means "lease," but this wine is cheap enough to buy by the case. I found it for $12, and got an evening's worth of entertainment out of getting to know it.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Quinta de Roriz Douro Prazo 2006 (90, $15).
Russell Quong — Sunnyvale, CA — October 14, 2009 6:55pm ET
Dana Nigro — New York, NY — October 15, 2009 8:21pm ET
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