In his last post, Blind Muscat surveyed the offerings at last week’s TAPAS tasting at Copia in Napa of domestic wines made from native Spanish and Portuguese grapes. And while he thought the wines were a lot of fun, he issued a warning—like anybody cares about Blind Muscat’s warnings—that producers trying to push their prices too high could be in some trouble, given the competition. And this bottle is why.
Two days after the tasting, I opened a bottle of the 2002 Post Scriptum for a couple friends over diner. And the dinner was not exactly the classic pairing from the Big Book of Portuguese Wine—it was a smoked turkey, a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, grilled sweet potatoes in a jalapeño-citrus glaze, and grits full of corn and goat cheese. The wine was a smash, at $20.
The Post Scriptum comes from the vast cellars of the Symington family, likely the biggest conglomerate in the Port business—having inherited Dow, Warre, Graham, the list goes on. Symington was at first reluctant to get into the Douro table wine business, but when they changed their minds, they had a zillion fine quintas (vineyards) at their disposal, full of old vines, enough to make dry wines on a big-time scale. Compare that to the fledgling producers in the US, with their meager, young acreage and sub-boutique-size production.
Oh, and when they decided to make table wines in 2002, they formed an alliance with famed Bordeaux winemaker Bruno Prats to oversee the project. That’s actually the source of the PS initials on this wine—Prats and Symington. And to keep the competition fair with the domestics, this 2002 was their first release of this particular wine—it’s what they make when the flagship Douro, the higher-priced Chryseia, isn’t up to snuff.
The wine is made from the traditional Douro/Port varieties Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Cao, in that order. It’s a fine mouthful of black fruit and spice, with the elegance you’d expect from a Bordeaux master. This particular wine had the advantage of a couple extra years in the bottle; the 2005 is the current release.
That’s the competition in this category. Blind Muscat says try ‘em all.
Price: $21.99. Alcohol: 12.5%. Points: Almost as many as the cheese grits. Full disclosure: Bought on my very own dime.