Touriga Nacional is produced all the way up and down Portugal. Given it’s full body, vibrant colour, and deep fruit flavour it’s an exceptionally useful wine to use in blends. For the most part that’s how it will come along, as part of a blend.
In the central and southern areas, like for Bairrada and Alentejo wines, it makes up part of the blend along with 2-3 other grape varieties. There are two areas in the north though which really throws it out there in centre stage. One is the famous Douro Valley, and the other is the Dão area.
Both the Douro and the Dão lie slightly inland, so (get a picture of Portugal in your head here) they’re far enough away from the Atlantic Ocean and close enough to the rising centre of Iberia to get all the sun, all the heat, and a bit of altitude, to make it a perfect place for Touriga Nacional to show its best qualities.
I’m pretty sure all the wines I’m trying this week are from the Douro. It’s hard to guess exactly what to expect given the various other grapes that will be in the blend, but I’m expected very bold colour, a pretty big body in it, and some spicy cherry and plum tastes. I’m just thinking about Port here and assuming the basic fruit tastes will be similar.
I’d also imagine that given the grape skins are very thick, giving lots of tannin, some form of technique will have been used to calm the tannins down a bit. The way most people do this is by resting in oak barrels before they bottle. This can add flavours like coffee, smokiness, and tobacco. So definitely something to look out for.
It’ll be interested how the producers marry it all up and keep the blend balanced.
Other posts in NWTW Week 6: