95pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2017 Pintas is a field blend from old vines (not quite 90 years) aged for 20 months in 30% new French oak. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This seemed surprisingly accessible and elegant for this vintage when I first saw it as a tank sample in Porto last June. It was, however, a bit reticent. I expected more. It is now showing exactly that. I'm still not convinced it is quite as great as the winery thinks, but it is awfully fine. It has an extra layer of depth over the 2016, a little more power and even more concentration of fruit—in that subtle and elegant style the winery has; it's never jammy. It is still remarkably unevolved and in need of some time to show the finesse and harmony it will one day have, but it is surprisingly approachable. When this rounds into something more like peak form in the late 2020s, I suspect many unfamiliar to Portugal will pick up a glass and think it is something far more famous. Some six hours later (re-corked, not decanted), it was arguably better. At the moment, this still is not quite all the way there. If it is all about potential, it has a lot of it.
93pts Wine & Spirits
Sandra Tavares and Jorge Serôdio Borges grow the fruit for this wine at a vineyard in Vale Mendiz, an 89-year-old, mixed-vine planting that has built a legend for the wine they’ve made in a ripe, extracted, ambitiously oaked style. So this 2017 comes as a surprise, no less luscious than a great Vale Mendiz wine might be, but distinctly elegant in its cool evocation of Douro schist. It feels brisk in its black-cherry flavors, super spicy as it tumbles into a crushed-rose fragrance at the end. There’s tension and motion in the wine, a great vintage of Pintas that should age for a decade or more.
This wine is sourced from the 80-year-old Pintas vineyard, which contains a field blend of over 35 indigenous varieties. The grapes are carefully selected and foot trodden in traditional granite lagares during the maceration and fermentation process. The wine is then aged for 22 months in 70% new and 30% second-passage French oak barriques.
Full-bodied and deep, Pintas shows spicy and floral aromas and flavors of blackberry and dark chocolate. Ripe, round, and balanced with notable acidity, it has fine tannins and a long, persistent finish.