I’m kind of ignoring white wines from the Douro this week. That’s not to say they don’t make them. They do. And they’re increasing in quality as the years roll by thanks to some pioneering winemaking. Only thing is that this blog was all about making sure we can all easily get hold of the wines we’re trying. I’ve never seen a white Douro in the supermarket. So reds it is this week!
The over-riding quality of a Douro red, for me anyway, is the colour. It’s just so deep and lush. Reason here is that the hot sun beats down on these awesome terraces out in the Douro, and ripen all the thick skinned grapes that go into these blends ridiculously consistently. Ripe thick skinned grapes are full of colour!
The main grape in these parts is an old friend of NWTW, Touriga Nacional. Possibly the darkest and fruitiest of them all, but all those massive flavours are kept in check by blending with other varieties. Tinta Roriz (Temperanillo everywhere else) is big round here, and there are many others than can be blended into a Douro DOC wine.
The big aim with blending, as in any wine region in the world, is balance. What’s the point in having all that colour and depth of flavour if the body is so big you’ve got to eat it with a knife and fork? Acidity (the refreshing sensation when you drink wines) is key to making these wines palatable. Luckily, with the big climate variations up and down the valley, the options are there.
These are serious red wines, but nearly always beautifully made these days!
Other posts in #NWTW 55:
Photo: from rockhouse.ie