Crystalline appearance and a fantastic open red ruby color. It reveals the aroma of the iodine and clay minerality of the variety and cherry notes as well as a fine vegetable and flowery freshness. In the mouth it has a unique freshness, with silky tannins, hints of fruit, salty and smoky notes, spices and an Atlantic acidity that supports the wine through a very long after taste.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white Portuguese wines of various styles.
The Douro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red Portuguese wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry Portuguese wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
This dark-skinned, Portugese variety creates powerful red wines with great color, structure and finesse and is specially prominent in the Bairrada and Dão regions. Somm Secret—Because of its ample acidity and striking color, Baga also makes a great rosé; much of it from the Bairrada ends up in this style.