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Prats and Symington (Chryseia)
When talking about the wines of Portugal, you would be forgiven if your thoughts automatically jumped to Port wines. After all, the eponymously named Douro Valley product is responsible for changing the country’s fortunes in the 18th century and has largely overshadowed any other export since. There are however a handful of producers who are keen to pick up the table wine trade, and Chryseia is one of them.
A perfect, powerful, Portuguese red
A joint venture between expert viticulturist James Symington (yes, that James Symington of the famous Port wine family) and Bruno Prats (of Château Cos d’Estournel), these two herculean winemakers seem to have struck gold. A hybrid Prats’ Bordelaise experience and Symington’s deep knowledge of terroir, the pair teamed up in 1999 and set the ball rolling. Producing under the name Prats & Symington (or P+S), the resulting wine, Chryseia made the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list in just its second vintage. Clearly a success, the pair then went on to acquire further parcels of land, including the historic Quinta de Roriz vineyards and winery in 2009.
No one hit wonder
In 2014 the wine once again found itself on the Wine Spectator’s podium, this time in 3 rd place for its 2011 offering. The success can largely be put down to the exceptional teamwork of Symington and Prats but also Douro’s exceptional placement; the valley is heralded as having everything from being wildly beautiful (it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001) to fantastic climate, great soils and unique grape varieties. The superb ageability of Douro Valley wines is not to be forgotten either, not only for Chryseia but for Prats and Symington’s’ second wine, Post Scriptum. This second (attention, not lesser) wine can reach outstanding levels but is around half the price of a Chryseia for the same year. P+S also have Prazo de Roriz.

Since the Wine Spectators accolade, the 2011 vintage is increasingly rare and increasingly expensive. Current (Q2 2019) show stocks at just one case on the secondary market in bond for €1,800, or close to €250 per bottle. This is exceptional however; other non-vintage years range between €50-100 a bottle.