100% Touriga Nacional from Douro, Portugal.
SRP of $47 and available for as low as $42 (Saturday Splurge). Imported by Quintessential Wines. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
“Quinta Do Vallado is located in the heart of Douro Valley and belongs since six generations to the Ferreira Family, descendant of Dona Antonia Adelaide Ferreira.
100% Touriga Nacional. Bottled after 16 months of ageing in 225 Litre French oak casks.
The price of today’s wine is quite steep even by our Saturday Splurge standards, but there’s a good reason for it. And that’s simply because 100% Touriga Nacional wines are quite hard to find. Touriga Nacional is considered one of the most noble grapes of Portugal and has always been a component of the area’s red wine blends and ports. In fact, most wines in the area are blends and traditionally the different varieties are planted intermingled in the vineyard and then co-fermented. These blends can even contain up to 30 different varieties that all grow, are harvested and fermented together!
Of course when all the different varieties are mixed together in the vineyard it makes it very hard to make single varietal wines. And even though many wineries now grow their grape varieties separately, Touriga Nacional produces notoriously low yields — on average about half that of Tinta Roriz (the local name for Tempranillo). In addition Touriga Nacional makes up a very small percentage of the total acreage. All these things equal high prices. Alas, sometimes you have to pay to try something unique and based on the awards for this wine (in the top 15 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list the last two years) I decided it was worth a look.
The 2009 Quinta Do Vallado Touriga Nacional begins with beautiful blackberry, spice and violet aromas plus a little mocha as well. The wine really starts to open up nicely after a couple hours in the glass. At that point it’s still a bit oaky, but give it a couple more years in the bottle and wow. Even today it is super smooth with rich and succulent fruit, fabulously integrated spice and tons of depth. The finish is very long and features toasty spice, lots more rich dark fruit and a little coffee at the very end. It may be expensive, but it’s definitely worth a Saturday Splurge!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
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