Region: Douro, Portugal
Varietal: 60% Touriga Nacional, 25% Tinta Roriz , 15% Touriga France
Taste: This blend brings together the aromatic intensity of Touriga Nacional, the sophisticated delicacy of Tinta Roriz (better known in Spain as Tempranillo), and the structure and elegance of Touriga Franca. Fresh red fruits on the nose persist through the palate, announcing a young, energetic wine with swirling, well-integrated tannins, and a lovely, long finish.
Pairing: Honestly with this cold front we’ve been having, I am craving all the cheesy, creamy risotto I can get and this would be a great pairing with a fresh pea or mushroom risotto. This recipe fits the bill, Mushroom Risotto With Peas by Martha Rose Shulman. It would also be lovely with braised beef over polenta or mushroom duxelles. This is also great for a pairing with a classic burger, veggie or beef, or even an impossible burger with all the fixings.
About: The Douro wine region takes its name from the Douro River, flowing from its source in north-central Spain (under the name Duero) across northern Portugal to its outlet at Porto, on the Atlantic Coast. Known as the vinhateiro, this glorious winegrowing region was the first in the world to have a formal demarcation (under the 1756 Portuguese charter protecting Port wine) and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. The Douro River valley vinhateiro is sheltered from Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains and has a hot, continental climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Terraced vineyards line the steep, rugged riverbanks, subdivided into three subregions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.
Quinta da Foz is located at the junction of the Douro River and its tributary, the Pinhão, in the Cima Corgo subregion. Here, in the center of the Douro Valley, steep terraces are cut into the schist riverbanks, where vine roots seek out the pockets of moisture in the foliated sheets of schist, bringing a great minerality to the final wine. As you pull into the iconic train station at Pinhão, you’ll notice the beautiful hand-painted blue tiles (azulejos) depicting the grape harvest. Quinta da Foz is just over the Pinhão River from the station. The Calém family acquired it in 1872, and today Filipe Ferreira heads the winemaking.
The property of the Quinta consists of 20 hectares, of which half are old vines and the rest are olive groves. The grapevines’ average age is 80 years old, and Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz are predominant. This small, 20-hectare property is classified by the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto), who gives this Quinta an A-rating for its choice terroir. Everything is hand harvested. All of the wines are foot-pressed in large granite lagares.
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