It’s pretty difficult to pick just one wine above all others in 2008. There are so many good wines being made from so many good wine regions, not to mention wines from past vintages. Should it be a wine released this year, or a wine consumed this year?
It’s too hard to track just the wines released so my criteria for picking a Wine of the Year is simply any wine consumed during the calendar year 2008.
The wine I’m picking is a wine I purchased almost exactly a year ago, right before New Year’s and drank it in January. I turned to my father-in-law as we enjoyed a bottle on NYE and said, I guarantee you this wine will be in Wine Spectator’s Top 10. Sure enough, the wine I picked ended up being #3 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 – Quinta do Crasto Reserva 2005 from Portugal.
I picked the Crasto Reserva ’05 as my WOTY after the string of stellar vintages dating back to 2003. Crasto is a winery located in the Douro valley with an equal balance of tradition and modern winemaking. The wine itself has a new world richness and extraction with an old world sense of style. It’s not over the top, nor is it too heavy. Alcohol percentage is right where it should be, yet the winemaker is Australian giving it a certain twist. The Reserva is produced from old vine on a terraced slope. Crasto’s wines are foot-trodden with gentle cap punch down.
The wine sold out locally in January. If you can get it for under $65 I’d recommend it. Or if you want to get a taste of what to expect, pick up a bottle of Crasto Red Table wine which retails for around $20.