#newwinethisweek week 6 – Touriga Nacional, Portugal
There is so much more to Portugal than the wonderful beaches and seafood of the Algarve, and one of the standout features is the wine. Portugal is one of the oldest wine producing nations and although the country is rightly world famous for it’s fortified gem Port, there has been a revolution over the past couple of decades in the production of “table” wines (well I don’t know what else to call them!).
Portuguese winemaking is a wonderful fusion of traditional techniques and modern technology, but the real trump cards are the plethora of indigenous and interesting grape varieties grown in the stunning vineyards throughout the country. One of these grapes is Touriga Nacional. Touriga Nacional is considered to be the most desirable grape for Port production but it’s the red table wines that we are interested in this week. The grape produces rich, firm wines with flavours of blackberries and raspberries, but what really stands out are the herby and violet notes, which can make for wonderfully aromatic and complex wines.
Although Touriga Nacional is grown throughout the country, the two high quality regions to look out for are Douro in the northeast of the country (home of Port) and Dao, a little further south. The Tejo region, further southwest, is also gaining in reputation as a good value source. Although there are plenty of examples of single variety Touriga Nacional, more often that not it is the major grape in a blend. In the Douro it will be skilfully blended with Touriga Finca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), while in Dao you may well find it partnered with Alfroncheiro or Jaen. There is also an increasing amount of international varieties being planted in Portugal so don’t be surprised to see a proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon on Syrah in the blend.
So enough talking and onto this week’s recommendations Mike from www.pleasebringmemywine.com will follow up with some selections of his own in due course!):
Tesco Finest Touriga Nacional 2011, Tejo, Portugal (Tesco £7.99 – on offer at £5.99 until 24/02/14)
Waitrose Douro Valley Reserva 2010, Douro, Portugal (Waitrose £11.49)
M&S Touriga Nacional 2009, Tejo, Portugal (M&S £7.99)
Adega de Pegoes Touriga Nacional 2011, Setubal, Portugal (Wine & The Vine £11.49)
Quinta da Falorca E-Falorca 2008, Dao, Portugal (Roberson £13.95)
Don’t forget to tell us what you think by giving Touriga Nacional a score out of 10 and leaving your tasting notes in the comments section. Where will Touriga Nacional end up on the #newwinethisweek leaderboard?