Terroir within Pintas of the "younger" 50-70 years-old vines, with some juvenile 10- year-old vines that have come into production
- A field blend of mostly the BIG THREE red grapes of Portugal:
- Touriga Nacional (Portugal's Cabernet Sauvignon)
- Touriga Franca (Portugal's Cabernet Franc)
- Tinta Roriz (actually Tempranillo)
- 18 months in a mix of new and used French oak barriques
- In my mind "Character" is reminiscent of a love child from the obverse Loire Valley and Bordeaux Cabernet Franc, but maybe a little more Bordeaux in this warmer year.
92 pts Wine Advocate
The 2016 Pintas Character is a field blend from old vines aged for 18 months in 80% used French oak. It comes in at 14% alcohol. Originally seen as a tank sample, this is now bottled and in the USA. Deeper, more powerful and certainly fruitier than the Manoella Tinto (and in this vintage another $10 in list price, to be fair), this is simply a more serious wine in many respects this year. Ripe, concentrated and succulent, yet beautifully crafted with the fruit well supported by the structure, this focused red (fruity but not a fruit bomb) is exceptional on many grounds. Still a bit too young, it could use another year or so in the cellar. Yet the tannins are not terribly hard, so it's not too difficult to drink now. It will easily hold for more than another decade, and it should improve as well. We'll take the aging curve in stages, though, and see where we are as 2030 rolls around—assuming you can keep your hands off of it. It is worth leaning up on this today.
This small producer, owned by co-winemakers (and husband and wife) Sandra Tavares and Jorges Borges is one of Douro's most consistently excellent producers these days. From the increasingly refined table wines to the monumental 2017 Port I reviewed in July's interim issue, they are firing on all burners.