While the fortified Port wines of the Douro Valley are still famous and well regarded, they are not the international favorite they once were. As sales have steadily slowed or decreased over the last decades, wineries have been forced to adapt and use more of their resources for normal 'table' wine, the sort of wines that are faster to produce and consumers are faster to drink. While these wines have always been there, the recent push has brought them to the forefront, and the quality is bringing a lot of deserved attention. Their style has a lot of similarity to the Spanish wines at the headwaters of the Duero/Douro River, not surprising since one of the major varieties used is Tempranillo, also called Tinto Roriz. The other two grapes, Touriga Franca (known for its elegance and fragrance) and Touriga Nacional (known for its power and richness) form the backbone for both the Port wines and the still wines, the same way Bordeaux relies on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
As the entry level wine from this producer, this only sees a brief touch of oak aging to preserve the fresh and approachable style, though the grapes still provide a surprising amount of natural heft. Deep in color and loads of dark spicy currants and peppery spices on the nose, there is almost a sweet grapiness about the aroma that is tempered by the dark savory side. The palate at first is fruit forward as well, but is quickly pulled in by some hearty, even rustic feeling tannins that give the palate some surprising sturdiness. This has a lot more burly structure than its Spanish parallels, and likely deserves a hearty meal to be enjoyed by most people, but will be a great twist at the table.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!