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Tag Archives: Touriga Nacional

Wanted: Tawny Port

Tawny port wine is made from red grapes aged in wood, exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation, for longer than a ruby port wine. As a result, the wine loses its brilliant ruby color, becoming a dark amber or a tawny hue with a characteristic “nutty” flavor imparted by the wood. Finally, through a system of fractional blending with various older port wines to match the house style, the resulting tawny wine is elegant and soft, showing delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit.

Although there are several various kinds of tawny port wine, the two main types are: a young tawny that lacks any indication of age, and an older tawny labeled with a specific age.

Basic NV Tawny Port

Although the term “tawny’ refers to a wine that has been aged in wood for longer than ruby port wine, the majority of young tawnies are made from a blend of both red and white grapes, aged for approximately the same time as a ruby port wine. Come summer, several bulk tawnies are shipped up river to the Douro valley in cement baloes where they literally stew from the ambient heat, referred to as the Douro Bake. The Douro Bake is a traditional expression used to explain a particular characteristic imparted to Port when aged in a hot, arid climate, as opposed to the milder, cooler temperatures in Vila Nova de Gaia. Consequently, the resulting wines mature rapidly, losing their bright red color, and display a slightly brown tinge around the rim. On the palate, although lacking in the powerful fruit characteristics normally associated with a young ruby port wine, tawnies tend to be softer, more subtle, and many times, slightly more approachable.

Wanted: Ruby Port Wine

As we have done with both Sherry and Portuguese table wine, our goal is to provide you with a solid understanding as to what Port wine is throughout the month of November. Over the next two weeks, we will be providing you port wine profiles of each style with the […]

Bodega Profile – Cortes de Cima – Alentejo

Last Tuesday, during a very hectic and busy day tasting wines, we had scheduled a lunch with Cortes de Cima, a winery located in the Alentejo. And typically, when you schedule a lunch like this, you are met with an export manager who is so professional that each crease and fold is perfectly starched and ironed without a wrinkle to be seen. Trust me, I’ve looked. But today was different. What stood before us shaking our hand was one of the winemaker’s of Cortes de Cima, António Cláudio. António is a large man, standing 6 feet tall with broad shoulders, curly black hair and a sweet boyish smile.

Grape Profile – Touriga Nacional

Help! I’ve got me self a glass full of violets! I do! I do! I think every wine writer/aficionado goes through moments where all of their notes seem to run together. Similar descriptors and textures make it appear that we’re tasting the same exact wine over and over again. Sometimes […]

Portugal’s Wine Demarcation

As a result of our recent trip to Portugal, we figured the best way to start off the month is by offering a basic road map to Portuguese wine. We have given you several articles in the past on the grape varietals, the Portuguese wine label and some specific wineries, […]

2003 Quinta do Carrasqueiro Douro

2003 Quinta do Carrasqueiro Douro – Portugal, Douro (9/26/2006)12.5% alcohol – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta BarrocaDeep marroonish and very dark. On the nose wet slate, earth, leather, and white peppers, with black cherry and anise showing as it opens up. Strong acidity with medium weight tannins. The […]

2003 Ramos-Pinto Douro Duas Quintas

2003 Ramos-Pinto Douro Duas Quintas – Portugal, Douro (7/5/2006)Deep in color wtih a strong violet nose that shows hints of black raspberry, balck cherry, and liquorice. Strong firm tannins with a medium acidity in the mouth with a finish that sadly is a bit hollow. Lots of structure that paired […]