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A Wine Revelation: I Do Like Touriga Nacional!

UDACA Touriga 2011I remember someone called Sam I Am from my childhood (courtesy of Dr. Seuss), who repeatedly asked another individual if they liked Green Eggs and Ham.  That other person declared he did not, and stuck to that story for a very long time before reluctantly trying the odd colored egg and pork dish.  In the end he had to admit he did indeed like it.  He actually liked it a lot.

For some time now we’ve been reviewing a large assortment of Portuguese wines, and they have been, with a few exceptions, extremely good wines at extremely good prices.  You can read some of those reviews here, here and here, as well as in a few more places on this blog.  This flies in the face of my preconceptions, formed years ago, that I did not like Portuguese wine, and especially those made from Touriga Nacional.  While the recent wines have made me understand that blends with Touriga Nacional can be excellent, I have had a bottle of 100% Touriga Nacional in the cellar for a bit.  We stare at each other every time I go near the place, and the gauntlet has been on the ground now for well over month.  Sooner or later I had to try it and face my belief, with mounting evidence that I would be proven wrong.

Last week the Wine Spectator revealed their Top 100 Wines for 2014, and lo and behold Portuguese wines took spots 1, 3 and 4.  There is no longer any denying the obvious and inevitable, so this weekend we opened that bottle of 100% Touriga Nacional.  Here are the notes:

Wine:   UDACA 2011 Touriga Nacional     Winery Location:  Dao Region, Portugal

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    November 2014

Tasting Notes:     – The wine is dark red/purple from the bottle.  Immediately there was a touch of funk, and I quickly told myself – “See, you’ve been right all along.” This was not the case however, as after a few minutes standing in the glass the funk blew off, replaced with a bounty of berries on the nose.  The palate presents deep, black and red fruit flavors, and you get a little bit of that funky quality at first.  Wait twenty minutes and the fruit starts to flow pure and clean.  This has medium+ body and a nice long finish.  The tannins are still strong, and this will age effortlessly for ten+years.  It is very good, and will only get better.   Barrel time was 12 months in oak, and the wine brings 13.5% alcohol.  Touriga Nacional can obviously be excellent based on this wine.

Price Point –   This is about a $14 wine, and drinks way beyond that price point.

Would We Buy It? – We would, and we will.  This is just a fabulous $14 bottle of wine, and is easy Value List material.  And thus dies the Touriga Nacional demon.

Ahh, life is full of surprises, and that’s a good thing.  This wine is excellent, and certainly there must be many other good ones.  We have been proven wrong, and accepting that has widened our wine lens and opened up new possibilities.  This is also a very good thing.

So now I admit that I do, I DO like Touriga Nacional.  I like it a lot.  I will drink more of it.  At this point I should probably try some green eggs and ham as well.

Many thanks to Al Sarmento from Sarmento’s Imports for opening our eyes to a wide variety of Portuguese wines, and the journey continues.  Also thanks to Fred Thurber for starting us on this road to begin with.  You never know what’s going to happen next.

A votre sante!

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