When you say Portugal to someone and it relates to wine, 99% will only think of the famous Fortified Sweet Wine “PORT”. In Spain many people are familiar with Ribera Del Duero (Duero is the DOURO River) On the other side of the DUERO are some of the oldest vines and underrated wines in the world on the Portuguese side of the River or the appellation knows as “THE DOURO” What many people don’t realize is for the Fortified wines made in Porto there are over 80 grape varietals allowed but most use the same 6 Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, (Tempranillo in Spain) Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão and Tinta Amarela. More importantly they don’t realize that those very same 6 grapes are also used without fortification to make some of the most powerful, dark, , food friendly wines in the World in the DOURO!.
In The “QUINTA” (Farm)
Many of these “Quintas” or Farms in English are home to very old vines of the above mentioned grape varietals . Quinta Das Tecedeiras winery in the heart of the Douro Region has been revitalized in the 1990’s and the grapes have an average age of 90-100 years old or more.
Quinta das Tecedeiras is located at the heart of the prime stretch of the Douro’s wine-producing region, some eight kilometers upstream from the town of Pinhão. This property with its privileged views over the river Douro is home to a rich history – mainly of wine-making and olive oil production, but also of the nuns who once lived here, and their flax spinning and weaving that eventually gave the property its name. Tecedeiras means “weavers”.
Flor means Flower or the “Cream Of The Crop” hence the name Flor Das Tecedeiras. I picked up this Direct To You Wine at ABC Fine Wine And Spirits in Florida for $16.99 to Review. An UNOAKED blend of five of the Douro’s principal grapes – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Roriz (Tempranillo).
First I would like to mention, that everyone’s palate evolves over time.One minute you are drinking all Italy or Washington State and the next minute you lose a taste for those areas and you want more Spanish Or Greek etc. My personal palate has been developing a strong attraction to wines with little to NO OAK. I like layered, complex flavors and aromas and OAK just gets in the way of all that and it is starting to interrupt my palate. This is old vine fruit from very very rich soil, loaded with sandy limestone and rocks and flavors of ie: Vanilla, Butterscotch, Toast, Cinnamon, Dill, Coconut would just get in the way of tasting the WINE not enhance it in my current palate evolution.
After breathing for 2 hours, and brought down to proper temperature for maximum enjoyment of Red Wine 65 Degrees I stared at Deep Dark almost Black with hues of dark Purple in the glass. Blackberry,Blueberry, Floral notes, with solid 14% ABV Legs dripping down the sides of my wine glass and lots and lots of EARTH and hints of Smoke on my nose was my initial impression. On my palate, a strong presence of Forest Berries and plums with a very strong floral almost violet component with very ripe and strong puckering tannins and yes.. lots of DIRT. The finish was very persistent with hints of spice. This was a very young wine and will get better with age. The best part for me was that through every aspect of the tasting process, Swirling, Smelling, Sipping, Savoring, there was a solid identification that this was the DOURO in my mouth.
Day Two: Food Pairing
On Day Two, is when I like to match the wine I am reviewing with food. Obvious choice were BBQ or any Grilled Foods Meats or Veggies like Eggplant but I decided to pick up a Pizza (Whole Wheat Crust lol). I searched the internet to find a Pizza Place that offered a Wild Mushroom Pizza. To Pair With the Douro Dirt I wanted Something with Flavors of The Dirt.. This Pizza was topped with, Shitakes, Creminis , Portobello, White Button and Red Onions and Garlic. I just happened to have some White Truffle Oil in the cupboard and drizzled that. This was PERFECT. The Earthy Fruit and Acidity of the Wine contrasted the Earthiness of the Mushrooms and Truffle Oil. If the wine was Oaked this would have been a big mess. Although Dry with less than 1/10th Residual Sugar this wine is Fresh And Juicy. BOOM!!!
What About Dessert??
I had about 1.5 glasses of this Portuguese Wine left in the bottle and no more Pizza. Never forget DARK CHOCOLATE with Red Wines like This. I think this was almost as Spot On with the wine as the Pizza Pairing. It has to be DARK Chocolate. These were ACAI and Blueberry inside the Dark Chocolate and it was an OMG Moment.
Don’t only think of Portugal as the place that produces Porto Or Port Wine for Dessert. Those same grapes are used to make STILL Non Fortified Wines from very old vines and this was a beauty… DISCLAIMER BELOW:
If you are a JAMMY FLAVORED VERY FRUITY AMERICAN WINE DRINKER….This is Not the Wine Or Country For You. If you are all about Old World, Big, Bold, Earthy, Dry, Tannic… This $16.99 is a BUY BUY BUY. Come by and see me and I will show you where the wine is. Check it out on http://www.abcfws,com and you can order online or stop by one of our ABC Fine Wine And Spirits Locations in the State of Florida and talk to the Wine And Spirits Specialist about this wine. If not in Florida, contact me and I will hunt it down for you. I am SURE-O You Will LOVE The DOURO..
Grape-fully yours, Larry