Older vintages from the Douro are not only a rarity, but a treat. These, sustainably produced under Integrated Production practices, are drop dead gorgeous with fruit galore, elegance throughout and a finish that reminds us of why Douro is royalty. Truly intellectually stimulating wines with a dynamic that is ever-evolving.
Absolutely to drink...and hold for years to come.
2001 Vinha do Fojo Douro Red....$54.99
The 2001 Vinha Do Fojo (Quinta Do Fojo) is an old vines field blend aged for 12 months in French oak (60% new, the rest used). Of the Vinha do Fojos here this issue, this is arguably the best and the best balanced, although the 1996 is drinking much better now. That said, this is still a powerhouse in an old school style. One of the problems in evaluating these (especially when young) is that the tannins can be hard and overwhelm the wine. I took a cautious approach and was too stingy initially. This time it also had a couple of days open, which helped. In most ways, it is still too young, not nearly as interesting as the 1996 (although it one day will be and will likely be better). It shows fine acidity and lush texture, the best concentration and the freshest fruit in the vertical to go with the big tannins typical of the brand. Even now, it adds wonderful complexity. It is intriguing and intellectual. If you're looking for hedonistic, though, this probably isn't it. Focused, penetrating and powerful, it needs a food pairing to sing. It should have a long life ahead and it is still improving. It may well do better than I think. To my pleasant surprise, the standard retail price I was given was a mere $60. Back up the truck. This is fine enough that it makes a mockery out of the supposed classification difference between Fojo and Vinha do Fojo. There were 21,000 bottles produced.
Rated 95/100 The Wine Advocate