Indigenous grapes for Wine Blogging Wednesday as hosted by Dr. Vino's Wine Blog (check it out - great site and fantastic wine educator if you can get into any of his NYC classes!)
Lots of choices. I settled on the 2002 Cardeal Reserva from the Dão region of Portugal. It’s made from 100% Touriga Nacional. A grape, if you believe everything you read on Wikipedia, is “considered by name to be Portugal’s finest.” I’d never heard of before today but that’s part of the point of this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday!
Now, I understand that this is a grape more closely associated with Port, Portugal’s finest wine export, and is seen less in table wine. But as it shows in the 2002 Cardeal Reserva, I’m not sure if it exactly “Potugal’s finest.”
The wine is brick red in color with a nose of sour cherry and spices with an overall earthiness, a slightly weird mix of aromas that don’t entirely work in harmony. Medium bodied with a soft texture, the wine’s best characteristic. Dark fruits do come out on the palate. Possibly plum but it’s hard to tell. The earthiness also comes out in the medium long finish. However, all the elements on the taste seem as disjointed as the nose.
Overall, this is not a wine I can really recommend and I’d give it a C-. Although not undrinkable, it’s too disjointed to offer up real pleasurable drinking for me. In its best scenario, I can see consuming this at a party where conversation is the focus rather than what’s in your glass.
That said, I might be expecting too much from a $10 wine, actually $9.20 when factoring in the 15% discount I got from Astor Wines as Portugal was their featured region this past Tuesday. As for the experience of having an indigenous grape from Portugal… I’ll look for a good Port next time.