From: Douro Valley, Portugal
Blend: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional
Taste: The 2020 Lago Red Blend from the Douro Valley, Portugal, greets the senses with a vivid ruby-red hue, hinting at the captivating experience that awaits. On the nose, the wine presents an enticing bouquet of ripe red and black fruits, predominantly prunes, strawberries, and blackberries. These fruit-forward aromas are beautifully complemented by subtle notes of cedar box, tobacco, and cocoa, adding depth and complexity to the olfactory profile. Upon tasting, the Lago Red Blend reveals a full-bodied and velvety texture, with well-integrated and soft tannins providing structure and balance. The palate is greeted with an expressive array of flavors, dominated by ripe fruit notes that mirror the nose, interwoven with delicate hints of cedar, tobacco, and cocoa. The wine's acidity is well-balanced, providing a refreshing lift that carries through the long, satisfying finish.
Pairing: The 2020 Lago Red Blend's rich and fruity character makes it an excellent match for a variety of dishes, particularly those featuring robust flavors and hearty ingredients. Consider pairing it with roasted or grilled meats such as beef, lamb, or game, as well as dishes featuring tomato-based sauces, mushroom preparations, or earthy root vegetables. The wine's soft tannins and balanced acidity also make it suitable for pairing with medium to strong cheeses, such as aged cheddar, gouda, or manchego.
To honor its Portuguese origin, the Lago Red Blend pairs exceptionally well with traditional dishes from the region. Consider serving it alongside hearty meat-based recipes like Feijoada (a Portuguese bean stew with pork) or Cozido à Portuguesa (a Portuguese boiled dinner with various meats and vegetables). The wine's fruity character also complements the flavors of grilled sardines or Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (a traditional codfish dish with potatoes, onions, and olives)- we’re sharing a take on this same recipe below.
For vegetarian diners, the 2020 Lago Red Blend can be skillfully paired with a range of plant-based dishes that feature bold flavors and rich textures. Consider serving the wine with a hearty vegetable lasagna, featuring layers of pasta, tomato sauce, roasted vegetables, and cheese, or a rich mushroom stroganoff, where the earthy flavors of the mushrooms harmonize with the wine's fruit and oak notes. Other vegetarian pairing options include stuffed bell peppers with rice, black beans, and cheese, or a Mediterranean-style grilled vegetable platter with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and halloumi cheese.
Salt Cod, Potato and Chickpea Stew
By David Tanis]
About. The Douro Valley in Portugal is a renowned wine-producing region, with a rich history and a unique terroir. Its most famous wines are undoubtedly the fortified Ports, but in recent years, the region has gained recognition for its exceptional table wines. One such wine is the 2020 Lago Red Blend, a fruity and captivating red blend that stands out as a cut above the rest. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of this enchanting wine, from its origins to its taste profile.
A Time-Honored Winery:
Founded in 1917, the Lago winery is one of the oldest producers in Vinho Verde, located just 40 minutes from Oporto and 15 minutes from the entrance to the Douro Valley. The Lago wines capture the freshness of the region, combined with the aromatic exuberance of the grape varieties. This commitment to quality is evident in their 2020 Red Blend, a complex and alluring wine made from a blend of Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional.
Sustainable Viticulture and Terroir:
The Lago Red Blend's grapes are sustainably grown at higher altitudes and hand-harvested from different parcels at the perfect maturation point. The vineyards are situated in the sub-region of Amarante within Vinho Verde, where the vines enjoy a diverse microclimate and distinctive terroir. Wide temperature swings between day and night result in longer hang time and more even ripening for the grapes, enhancing the wine's complex flavor profile.
The winemaking process for the 2020 Lago Red Blend is overseen by Joao Cabrial, who ensures that the grapes are immediately processed after harvesting. The grapes are crushed and fermented in stainless steel vats with controlled temperature, preserving their freshness and fruitiness. The wine is then aged for three months in a mix of French and American oak, adding elegant structure and soft tannins to the final product.
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