I like port. There, I’ve said it. I also like wines that have the taste of port without the full on alcohol hit. The good people of the Douro have been working hard over the last decade to do more of that. That’s probably why I think they are good people.
The good people at Berry Bros & Rudd recognise that not everyone is a mega-rich fund manager, so whilst they have a beautiful shop in St James’ they also have a friendly outlet warehouse in Basingstoke.
Bringing these two thoughts together I bought a bottle of Altano Tinto Reserva at the outlet store for £7.50. Then I forgot about it for a while. This usually isn’t smart because if it’s being flogged off cheap it normally wants drinking in 6 months tops, but I left this one a year. It didn’t die, but I suspect my actions were not kind to it.
The colour seemed to have softened and lost some vim. It smelled good though of festive fruits and spices. It tasted good too. Not great, but good. The fruit had a dried quality, concentrated, but not intense. There was a good slug of prune. I’m sure a kinder writer would call it ‘dried plum’, but dried plums are prunes and you know what? I like prunes.
There was oaky flavours too, some vanilla but a bit more nutmegishness, although I couldn’t quite pin it down.
Drunk a year ago I’m sure this would have been great value at £7.50, now it’s a bit tired and past its prime, but still an interesting bottle. I feel like I let it down by not taking good enough care of it.