Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Portugal Wine Tasting: Douro Region

Last week I attended a Portugal Wine tasting hosted by the Midtown Winers. The best represented region at the tasting was the Douro region in Northeastern Portugal. We had two ports (which I’ll post about later) and five bottles of red wine. Most of these wines were a blend of the same grapes used to make port. Some of them were even single varietals of a port grape.

I wrote about this region earlier when I reviewed a Portuguese wine. According Karen McNeil's "Wine Bible" many of the vineyards in this region were carved out of the steep cliffs of the region, built ellaborate terraces, and transported dirt up the steep cliffs to augment the shist soil. A grapevine growing in this hot climate and poor soil must struggle to grow. This seems to be the formula for producing great grapes the world over.

The main grapes of the Douro for making red wine are the same ones that go into Port: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. The common flavor I got in the Douro wines at our tasting was plum. These wines were a nice balance of fruit and tannins. All seemed like they would go well with food.

The favorite of the night was the 2005 Quinta dos Quatro Ventos. This dark purple wine was made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesca. On the nose I detected plum and alcohol. There was light fruit, almost like a Rhone wine. The strong but balanced tannins left a nice finish. This wine was a nice value at $16.99.

Other reds we enjoyed were:
2004 Praxo de Roriz (it might have been flawed, though)
2004 Redoma Tinto
2003 Callabriga
2002 Evel Vihno Tinto


Andrew Bert said...

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Louis Horta said...

The designation "Vinho Regional Lisboa", previously Estremadura, may in essence become "Iconoc" for Portugal's Wines.

Our experience at Casal do Cadavosa strongly suggests that may in actuality become the case.

Please read our story: Http://

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