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95pt Prats & Symington Chryseia 2014 - 4.5 Vivino Rating!

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"The wines of Douro don't do much better than this" Vivino user

Is this Portugal's greatest still wine? 

Chryseia is the genius creation of Charles Symington, head of the famous Port family and Bruno Prats, ex-owner of the much-loved Bordeaux estate, Cos d’Estournel, and all-round wine genius.

Prats & Symington have long championed the quality of Portugal’s indigenous grapes and their considerable potential. The Symington family have some of the very best vineyards in the Douro and the fruit they yield allows the talented Bruno Prats and the winemaking team to deliver something really very special indeed.

The winemaking is careful and attentive with more than a nod to the Bordeaux style. Particularly notable is the prudent use of oak, ensuring that the wine is rounded and concentrated yet always elegant.

Chryseia is their flagship wine and a standard bearer for Portugal, clearly showing just how great its wines can be. With a huge 4.5 out of 5 rating from over 500 Vivino reviewers, the 2014 is another in a long line of great successes for Chryseia.

We only have a little of this special wine to go around, so make sure you don't miss out!

About the wine

This 2014 is a very deep purple colour in the glass. On pouring, rich and complex aromas of dark plum and black cherries with some subtle toasted notes emerge. Full and structured on the palate with concentrated and ripe black fruit and smooth, fine tannins. There is an elegant balance between all the components which underscores the wine’s ageing potential. The finish has a long aftertaste of attractive, supple fruit. Give this time in the decanter and it will be lovely right now, but it will age until at least 2030 and quite possibly beyond.

A blend of touriga naçional and touriga franca, Chryseia is a shining example of what Portugal’s indigenous grape varieties are capable of. As is common in the Douro, the grapes are harvested from multiple plots across various vineyards; each plot contributing a unique element to the wine. Key to the wine’s success is the ripeness of the fruit, judicious use of oak and serious know-how in the winery that ensures the final blend is elegant, textured and perfectly-balanced.

The wine is aged in oak barrels sourced annually from various French cooperages. To ensure the wine isn’t excessively influenced by oak the winemaking team are careful to only age a proportion of the wine in new oak and barrels are purposefully 400 litres to reduce the surface area to volume ratio.

Winemaker: Bruno Prats & Charles Symington
Appellation: Douro DOC

- 95pts, Wine Enthusiast
- 94pts, Wine Spectator
- 17+/20pts, Jancis Robinson
- 91pts, Robert Parker Wine Advocate
- 4.5/5, Vivino Rating (538 ratings)

Grapes: 53% Touriga Naçional, 47% Touriga Franca
Vineyard: Quinta de Roriz, Quinta da Perdiz and Quinta da Vila Velha
Cooperage: 15 months in 400 litre French oak barrels
ABV: 14%
Drink: 2017-2030

About the winery

Founded in 1999 as a joint venture between veteran Bordeaux winemaker, Bruno Prats and the Symington family, who have been Port producers in the Douro Valley for over 120 years. It is an independent company specializing in dry red wines which have been at the forefront of the qualitative Douro DOC revolution and instrumental in driving the high quality image of the region forward.

Chryseia is made at a winery dedicated to the production of dry red wines (as opposed to fortified port) at Quinta de Roriz. It is an immaculate facility kitted out with the best vinification equipment that allows the grapes to be gently and minimally handled.

About the vineyard

Prats & Symington own two fabulous estates in the parish of Sāo João de Pesqueira in the Douro valley. Quinta de Roriz sits in a natural amphitheatre on the banks of the river whilst the vineyards of Quinta da Perdiz are located on a steep slope on the other side of the mountain in the Rio Torto valley, which runs north-west in to the main Douro valley. 

Each quinta is unique and delivers fruit with quite different characteristics. Roriz has traces of tin in its schistous soils which have come from the old mines that were once operational at the highest point of the estate. This gives the wines a strong mineral quality along with plentiful aromas that are the result of the vineyards cooler north facing location. Perdiz produces ripe, soft wines in its warmer, more protected spot.

Chryseia also includes grapes sourced from selected plots from properties belonging to the Symington family, namely Vila Velha.

About the winemakers

Charles Symington is the head Winemaker at Symington Family Estates. Having joined the company in 1995, he went on to succeed his father, Peter, as taster and winemaker for the family’s Port Houses, as well as head winemaker for the family’s Douro DOC wines, which are increasingly earning recognition around the world. Charles was made ‘Winemaker of the Year’ by highly respected Portuguese magazine, Wine - Essencia do Vinho in 2016. He was also awarded Winemaker of The Year – Fortified Wines, Portugal (2006 and 2012).These accolades are testament to Charles’ work over two decades, which have seen the family build on the strong legacy bequeathed by its ancestors.

Bruno is the grandson of Fernand Ginestet, the world famous Bordeaux wine grower and négociant, owner of Château Margaux, and of Jean Prats, former President of Saint-Raphael a major French spirit company of the time.

In 1968 and 1969 Bruno Prats worked under his uncle at Château Margaux. In 1970 he took control with his mother and two brothers of Château Cos d’Estournel, the famed Cru Classé of Saint Estephe, in the Medoc.

Under Bruno, Cos d’Estournel reached the unofficial status of "Super Second" i.e. the very few chateaux from the Medoc which were classified second growth in 1855 and which wine is presently considered to be of equal quality with the five first growths. 


95 Points - Wine Enthusiast

This is the latest vintage from the always impressive long-running joint venture between the Symington family in Portugal and Bordeaux wine consultant Bruno Prats. The wine is elegant and structured with nothing to excess. It has delicious black-currant fruit as well as a core of firm tannins. It is a wine for aging: ripe while so poised."

94 Points - Wine Spectator

A powerful and concentrated red, featuring kirsch, red plum and baker's chocolate notes, balanced by tarragon, slate and violet details. Elegant, with supple tannins framing the long finish, which is laced with hot stone, olive and licorice accents."

17+/20 Points - Julia Harding

Super-dark purple crimson. Sweet with toasty oak and intense black fruit. Very oaky on the palate - sweet vanilla and spice. But the tannins are much softer than I expected, just thickened a little by the oak. Chewy, dry finish but the structure is filled out by elegant and just-ripe fruit. Needs time for the oak to take its respectful supporting role."

"The wines of Douro don't do much better than this. Dark berry note, full tannin mouthfeel with an abundance of fruit"  4.5/5 Stars

"Stunning full bodied, monster Duoro. Rich, balanced, big black fruit, earth, cigar box and black licorice. Will continue to improve with time! Wow!"  4.5/5 Stars

"A masterpiece of the Duoro. Deep ruby colour, intense balck fruit notes, nuts and spices and a persistent aftertaste."  4.5/5 Stars


Other Details

Full-bodied Duoro Red from the best in Bordeaux and Portugal - 95 points and 4.5 Vivino rating!
"The wine is elegant and structured with nothing to excess. It has delicious black-currant fruit as well as a core of firm tannins." Wine Enthusiast
"A powerful and concentrated red...Elegant, with supple tannins framing the long finish, which is laced with hot stone, olive and licorice accents." Wine Spectator
Is this Portugal's greatest still wine? Chryseia is the genius creation of Charles Symington, head of the famous Port family and Bruno Prats, ex-owner of the much-loved Bordeaux estate, Cos d’Estournel, and all-round wine genius. Chryseia is their f
2017-12-19 23:59:59
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#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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