September Wines of the Month: a Majestic pair

My September Wines of the Month are a Majestic pair in every sense of the word:

Altano Douro Organic 2008 (Douro) – this blend of Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca is the second vintage of Altano’s organic wine from 7ha at Quinta de Assares, one of three vineyards the Symington family own in the Villarica Valley in the Douro Superior (pictured).  But watch this space because, from this year, they’re farming all 150ha of these holdings organically, including Quinta Ataide, source of a new single varietal Touriga Nacional under the Alatano label which blew me away.  It’s due for release later this year (check out my upcoming report on a visit with the Symingtons this July).   As for Altano Organic, it’s the perfect autumnal wine, with ripe damson and cherry to the nose and just a hint of smoky bacon/oak.  Black pepper, spicy bay leaf and dried herbs come through on a juicy palate, together with a lick of toasty oak (looking better integrated than when I first tasted this wine in May) .  £9.99 or £7.99 (20% off) at Majestic from 31 August to 1 November 2010 when you buy any 2 Portuguese table wines as part of the minimum 6 bottle purchase.

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005 (Constantia) – Constantia’s Muscat de Frontignan sweeties prompted Charles Dickens to speak of “the support embodied in a glass of Constantia and a home-made biscuit” and Jane Austen to encourage her forsaken heroine to try a little Constantia for its “healing powers on a disappointed heart.” Sadly, when I recently tasted this I didn’t have a home-made biscuit but happily, I didn’t have a disappointed heart either – suffice to say that the Constantia worked its magic on this 21st century writer anyway!  Lovely orange and orange peel nose, a touch confit and, in the mouth, it has glorious perfume (jasmine/orange blossom), balance (pithy pithy, sweet sweet) and persistence.  An absolute treat!  Put some away for Christmas (if you can wait…) £30 or £23.99 (50cl) at Majestic (20% off) from 31 August to 1 November 2010 when you buy any 2 South African table wines as part of the minimum 6 bottle purchase.

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