Prats & Symington Chryseia 2019

We had a very dry and mild winter and spring, and by late summer the vines were in need of water to keep maturations on track. Fortunately, the virtual absence of rain from May to late August was counterbalanced by cooler summer conditions, which attenuated the lack of water. Fortunately, some rainfall in late August and ideal conditions through September, led to a balanced ripening of the various components of the grapes - reflected in the excellent balance between acidity and sugar levels. Yields were very close to average after the two very short years of 2017 and 2018. Freshness and vibrancy are the signature of the 2019 wines. The harvest began on September 13 at the Roriz and Perdiz vineyards. The Touriga Nacional was harvested from September 17 at Quinta de Roriz and Vila Velha and at Quinta da Perdiz from September 22. The Touriga Franca was harvested at Perdiz and Vila Velha from the 1st October and at Roriz from October 7th.

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Wine Spectator

Top 100 Wines of 2022

Racy and linear up front, this fleshes out on the palate, with silky tannins and a lovely range of black plum reduction, blackberry coulis, medicinal herb and iron flavors that show rich hints of licorice drop and espresso, before reining everything in again on the firm, focused and well-spiced finish. Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. Best from 2024 through 2034.

Wine & Spirits

Top 100 Wines of 2022 & Year's Best Northern Portugal 2023

Sleek, plump and succulent, the first vintages of Chryseia captured attention for their quality, though in blind tastings, their regional identity was not always clear. One of our panelists thought the 2012 might have been a ringer in a flight of Douro wines, observing, “It’s not very Portuguese; the blend feels more like a Bordeaux.” By 2014, Chryseia began to taste more like a Douro wine and the dynamic 2016 took Douro fruit toward silkiness without shedding the schist distinction of its tannins or the dark flavors of the local varieties. The wine sees less than a year in new oak barrels, minimizing the graphite polish on the tannins, holding some delicacy in its powerful depths of fruit. For this critic, the partnership finally arrived with its 20th vintage, the 2019, which, after three days open, offers the layered sense of schist, wild blueberries and dark plums. The luscious fruit and tannic integration feels completely grounded in an idealized Douro.

Wine Enthusiast

Cellar Selection

Based on fruit grown at Quinta de Roriz in the heartland of the Douro Valley vineyards, this wine is the result of a joint venture between the Symington family and Bruno Prats, former owner of Château Cos d'Estournel in Bordeaux. The wine is massive and powerful while also having elegance and freshness in the background.

Wine Advocate

The 2019 Chryseia is a 75/25 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca aged for 14 months in mostly (94%) new French oak. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. The new wood certainly changes the profile here, as compared to its siblings in this report, but that's hardly the first thing you'll notice. More importantly, this shows superb depth, sensual texture, fine structure, a long finish and much more ability to age. This is a beautiful Chryseia, and it is not done improving yet. A polished wine, it can be drunk now, but you'll benefit if you give this a few years in the cellar. This should last 20 to 25 years from the vintage date, maybe more, so there is no rush.

James Suckling

Impressive depth, intensity and complex. While this is is plush, opulent rendition, the fruit still shows spot-on balance between depth of ripeness and lift of freshness. Full of ripe but fresh blackberries and dark cherries, together with tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and cedar. Full-bodied and tight, with close-knit tannins that taste quite fresh and firm. They should mellow in two to three years. Drinkable now, but much better from 2025.