The Great Red Hope: Portugal Bets On Touriga Nacional, But Is It A Winning Hand?

Vinted on December 27, 2010 binned in commentary, on the road

The first thing that you need to know about the recently-awarded Top 10 Touriga Nacional wines from Portugal is that there area actually 12 of them.

Such is the strangeness of Portuguese wine politics that a contest selecting the top ten single-varietal bottlings of Touriga Nacional – the grape on which Portugal’s red table wine future seems to be staked (according to the focus attended to it at the 2010 Wines of Portugal International Conference in Porto) couldn’t actually stick to the rules of its namesake.

The Top 10 TNs were winnowed down from a list of thirty TN bottlings selected by ViniPortugal (the group who organized the conference and who are charged with promoting Portuguese wines internationally, who got the list down from 80 submitted samples) through a panel of tasters that included MWs Jancis Robinson, Doug Frost and Mary Ewing-Mulligan (among others).  The 12 winners of the 10 were then presented at a gala dinner event at the stunning Palácio da Bolsa in Porto, following Day One of the conference.

While the dinner and surroundings at the Palácio da Bolsa were both stunning, I wouldn’t use the same word to describe the vast majority of the Touriga Nacional wines that I tasted…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up for 2010-25-12

Vinted on December 25, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Draconis French Oak Zinfandel (Lodi): Helping heapings of prune, spice, focused dark fruit and thorough deliciousness. $25 B+ #
  • 08 St. Urbans-Hof Riesling (Mosel): Lime & acid to go the distance (prob. several yrs) but might not be too complex when it gets there $16 B #
  • 00 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe “La Crau” (Chateauneuf du Pape): Has plenty of spunk left; vibrant, lively & packed with red fruit. $53 A- #
  • 07 Quevedo Vintage Port (Porto): As you’d expect, tight as a drum. As you might not expect, showing off all the spices in the rack. $52 A- #
  • 08 Quinta Nova “Pomares” Red (Douro): Peppery, dark, smooth & about as one-dimensional as a physics equation involving a quantum wire €6 C+ #
  • 08 Quinta Nova REFerencia Grande Reserva (Douro): True red field blend that exudes class, focused brooding dark fruit, & demands meat €43 A- #
  • 08 Quinta Nova Reserva Red (Douro): Got its nose in the fireplace, but its feet planted firmly in a patch of bright red fruits. €23 B+ #
  • 08 Quinta Nova “Grainha” Red (Douro): Like a wily biker grandma, it’s somehow simultaneoulsy smokey, spicy, leathery *and* lively. €12 B #
  • 07 Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany): Like my old Ford Escort; reliable, easy to navigate, dependable & generally uninspiring. $18 B- #
  • 06 Judd’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A still slightly-closed book bound in cassis, black plum & spicy black licorice. $45 B+ #



Happy Holidays from

Vinted on December 24, 2010 binned in holidays

I hope you’ll forgive the ‘holiday card” style indulgence, but there’s no stemming the power of the “proud papa” syndrome, is there?

Wishing you and yours a safe, jolly, and wine-and-wonder-filled holiday!





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