Tag: portugal

The six grapes most used in the elaboration of Porto

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Although Porto is not as popular a wine as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, we should not miss the opportunity to taste this wine and know a little more about it. Porto wine (Oporto wine) does not come precisely from a “noble” grape, we might say, but rather a mixture, and there are 6 main grapes that contribute to the majority of the production of this type of wine.

1. Touriga Nacional: is undoubtedly the grape with the most famous reputation of the entire repertoire, the favorite of many producers and farmers and the most used for both the creation of Porto and other table wines. The grape has a thick and dark skin that results in very dark and concentrated wines.

2. Touriga Francesa: is the most harvested grape in the Douro region, the largest and important region in terms of vineyards and viticulture. It is very similar to the Touriga Nacional, and produces much more aromatic wines.

3. Tinta Roriz: This fruit brings an aromatic complexity to the mixture being non native to Portugal, because it comes from the same variety of Tempranillo, which originates in the regions of La Rioja and Navarra in Spain.

4. Baroque ink: it is native to the Douro region, it is the third most harvested variety and gives the Porto depth. However, it must be mixed with other, more acidic grapes as this is very sweet and contains high sugar levels.

5. Tinto Cão: literally means “red dog” and is thought to be the oldest grape in the region, which has adapted very well to the dry and extremely hot climate of Douro. It can be harvested very well even in poor lands and generates high levels of acidity.

6. Tinta Amarela: also known as Trincadeira, is indigenous to Portugal, but is not native to the Douro region. Nowadays, it is rare because the climate does not favor its harvest. However, when used in the mixtures, they produce sweet cherry aromas.

 TAGS:Port Graham's TawnyPort Graham’s Tawny

Port Graham’s Tawny

 

 

 TAGS:Ferreira Dona Antonia ReservaFerreira Dona Antonia Reserva

Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva

Oporto and Douro: so near and yet so different

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Ancient, rich in microclimates and with a variety of strains. This is the demarcated Douro region and it sits on shale soils in an area of ??great beauty that is distributed by secular terraces along the banks of the River Duero (Douro in Portugal).

In addition to beeing a site of World Heritage and birthplace of Port wine, the region is producing excellent white table wines, red wines, sparkling wines and muscat. The complexity of the aromas of port wine, originallycalled Vinho de cheiro (wine aroma), has continued to seduce the senses throughout the centuries. The proof of age is that they just celebrate their age: September 10, the Port Wine Day celebrates 259 years as the first demarcated region of the world.

Among the strains authorized in the production of wines of Douro, the most used are Touriga Nacional (the “Portuguese Cabernet”), Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao and Tinta Roriz (the Spanish tempranillo). The vast majority of wine is made with several strains although monovarieties are also produced, usually in the wines of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga franca.

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The way of the winery, manual or the mechanical steps, is part of the traditional method of wine production in the Douro. However, some of the producers have contributed with the most recent methods, e.g.stainless steel tanks with temperature control during fermentation. The advantage of the original method is its ability to extract the tannins, the second allows the production of wines with well-preserved aromas. The use of the two methods simultaneously results in complex wines, quite dense and structured. In addition, a new generation of winemakers went on proving that the Douro lives not only of Porto. In this region, table wines are made with new methods and are true specialists in winemaking.

In 2014, the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator has tasted 18,000 wines from around the world to classify them in terms of quality, price and availability in the market. Your selection Top 10 includes three wines from the Douro region.

Vintage port wine Dow’s 2011 Symington Group was chosen as the best wine in 2014, 99 points out of 100. In third and fourth place, both with 97 points, were the Chryseia 2011 (also Symington) and Quinta do Vale Meão, Olazabal & Filhos, descendants of Antónia Ferreira, the famous “Ferreirinha”.

The Real Companhia Velha has over 250 years in production and owns an archive of historical documentation (across the river Douro, in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the large wineries) enjoying the Douro wines are personalities like Marques de Pombal, Napoleon and Catherine of Russia.

This company sells and produces Porto wine on its 535 hectares of vineyards, distributed over 7 equal farms producing table wines such as Quinta das Carvalhas, one of the oldest in the region and the Quinta de Cidró in S. João da Pesqueira.

 

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Real Companhia Velha Vintage Port 2004

 

 

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Real Companhia Velha Vintage Port 1985

 

 

Portugal as a land of wine: the wine regions of Lisboa and Ribatejo

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The district of Lisbon has always been present in the history of wine culture of Portugal. Much of the production of white wines of Bucelas (Denomination of Origin region from 1911 until today) regularly travelled to English court.

In Colares (near Sintra), there are the country’s oldest vines. After several decades falling into oblivion, the Adega Cooperativa de Colares has developed and boosted its production. Here there are produced “crianzas” (4 years required), open coloured and approximately 12.5% alcohol content. The main grapes are Ramisco, in red wines, and the delicate Malvasia, in white wines. Anyone who has had the opportunity to taste the wines from this area certainly have noticed that they are a little jewel in terms of body and very special aroma.

Another wine region that shares territory with the Tagus river is Ribatejo, known for its generous wine production for the domestic market, thanks to large areas of flat terrain and temperate climate, which once supplied the Portuguese colonies in Africa.

From the 80s the Ribatejo vineyards have undergone major restructuring, coming from its cellars themselves, now with stainless steel tanks -before concrete-, oak barrels for aged wines, and even the production legislation of regional wines, which allows the use of strains not admitted by the DO, which consequently opens a wide range of possibilities to create new wines.
The traditional strains are many: Periquita and Castelão Nacional are the queens of the reds, while for the whites they usually use Fernão Pires and Arinto, among others. But the vineyard restructuring has allowed the introduction of international strains such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah, with excellent results. Their white wines are fruity and with floral aromas, and reds are aromatic with soft tannins.

Also in Lisbon there is a great wine production with the strain Periquita, in addition to Touriga Nacional and others. The Lourinhã region develops excellent aged spirits and just off, in Óbidos (Leiria district) they produce a very aromatic liqueur, garnet red, called Ginginha de Óbidos, and some varieties have aromas of cinnamon or vanilla. Carcavelos wines, the smallest Portuguese wine region, are syrupy, age very well and have a topaz colour and aroma of almonds.

Arruda dos Vinhos – Lisbon (also called “Ruta de vinos” or wine route) produce some of the best wines in the region, maintaining its quality for over 50 years. The reds are robust, garnet red and whites are light, straw or citrine coloured.

Since the choice is difficult… our recommendations for today are more than two : )

From the Lisbon district:

From Ribatejo we offer a white wine and a red wine. The first is the result of the union between the traditional Fernão Pires with Sauvignon Blanc; the second is born from Touriga Nacional and Syrah.

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Chocapalha 2010: a red wine with this DO: Lisbon with a blend based on the 2010 grapes and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

 

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Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2014: a white wine Lisbon based on sauvignon blanc of 2014 and has a volume of alcohol of 13º. 

 

 

*Article originally published by Rita Bonet at O Blog de Uvinum

Portugal as a land of wine: Porto and Douro

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Ancient, rich in microclimates and variety of strains. This is the demarcated Douro region which sits on shale soils in an area of great beauty that is distributed by secular terraces next to the banks of the Douro river in Portugal.

In addition of being World Heritage and birthplace of Port wine, the region is producing excellent white and red table wines, sparkling wines and muscat. The complexity of the aromas of Port wine named “Vinho de cheiro” (wine of odour) in another era, continues to seduce the senses throughout the centuries. The proof is that it has already a day to celebrate its age: on September 10, the Port Wine Day celebrated 259 years of the first demarcated region of the world.

Among the strains permitted in Douro wines winemaking, the most used are Touriga Nacional (the “Portuguese Cabernet”), Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão and Tinta Roriz (the Spanish “Tempranillo”). The vast majority of wines are made from various strains but the monovarietal also have a presence, often in wines based on Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca.

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The winepress, with manual or mechanical treading, is part of the traditional method of wine production in the Douro region. However, some producers provided more recent methods, such as stainless steel tanks with temperature control during fermentation. The advantage of the first method is its ability to extract the tannins, while the second allows the production of wines with well preserved aromas. Using both methods simultaneously results in complex wines, quite dense and structured. There is also a new generation of oenologist committed on proving that Douro not only lives from Port wine. In this region, table wines are made with new methods and by specialists in winemaking.

In 2014, the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator has tasted 18,000 wines from around the world to classify them according to their quality, price and availability in the market. Their Top 10 selection includes three wines from the Douro region.
The Port wine Vintage Dow’s 2011 by Symington Group was chosen as the best wine of 2014, 99 points out of 100. In third and fourth place, both with 97 points, were the Chryseia 2011 (also Symington) and Quinta do Vale Meão, by Olazabal & Filhos, descendants of Antónia Ferreira, the famous “Ferreirinha”.

The Real Companhia Velha is more than 250 years old and owns an archive of historical documentation (across the Douro river, in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the great cellars are) linking the Douro wines to personalities such as the Marques de Pombal, Napoleon and Catherine of Russia.

This company sells and produces Port wine on its 535 hectares of vineyards, distributed over 7 properties producing table wines, such as the Quinta das Carvalhas, one of the oldest in the region, and the Quinta de Cidró, in S. João da Pesqueira.

From this last property comes our first buying suggestion at Uvinum:

 TAGS:Ferreira Dona Antonia ReservaFerreira Dona Antonia Reserva

Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva is a fortified wine with this DO: Port of the best of port and tinta roriz grapes and with an alcoholic strength of 20.00º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Graham's 10 anosGraham’s 10 anos

Graham’s 10 anos: is a Port blended vinified with tinta çao and port and 20º of volume of alcohol.

 

 

* This article was originally published by Rita Bonet at O Blog da Uvinum.