Vale D. Maria Curriculum Vitae Douro 2017
The 2017 CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a field blend from 80-year-old vines aged for 22 months in 85% new French barriques. It comes in at 15% alcohol. A few weeks from bottling when seen, this was the final blend. I admit to a bias for CV, but it's hard to taste this and not be impressed. Even after tasting through the fine lineup it was in—there was serious competition—this stands out thanks to its structure, fruit and intensity on all fronts, from tannins to flavor. The tannins are notable but not too astringent. They will support rather than overwhelm the fruit. The intensity of flavor is impressive, making this unusually delicious in its youth. The texture is sensual, pure velvet. We'll see how this looks when it has some time in the bottle, but right now this looks like a great CV, a shortlist contender for best yet.