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The Douro: An evolution plus 20 top wines worth seeking out

It’s an open secret that the Douro Valley is very capable of producing high-quality reds from its characterful indigenous grapes. Perhaps slow to get going, progress in the region has gained momentum, says Sarah Ahmed, selecting 20 of the very best examples to try...

In 1986, Cuvaison Estate in Napa employed a young Portuguese intern who declared: ‘My first wine is going to be a monster, but in 20 years I’ll be making fine wines.’ That intern was Dirk Niepoort, and the journey he predicted – evocative labels from Robustus (his first 1990 Douro red) to Charme (launched in 2002) – reflects not only this now fêted fifth-generation Port and winemaker’s progress, but also a region-wide direction of travel.


See Sarah Ahmed’s pick: 20 top Douro reds


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