It is a noble breed and much appreciated in Portugal. Initially grown in the Dão region, it was quickly expanded to the Douro region to be used in the production of Port wine. Recently, the producers discovered the value of Touriga Nacional in the production of red table wines and its cultivation was extended to other regions such as Alentejo. It is a caste of little production: it has abundant but small curls. The berries have a high concentration of sugar, color and aromas. The wines produced or mixed with the Touriga Nacional grape variety are quite balanced, alcoholic and with good aging capacity.
It is the most planted variety in the Douro region, currently occupying about one-fifth of the region's total area.
Its popularity is based on the extreme versatility, productivity, balance and regularity of production, as well as good general sanity. It develops in a long vegetative cycle, providing wines rich in color. With medium to large clusters, with medium rounded berries, Touriga Franca is one of the structural pillars of the Douro lots, with a decisive influence on Port wine and table wines. Thanks to the strong concentration of tannins, it contributes to the good aging of the lots where it participates. It offers abundant fruit, providing wines of dense body and firm structure but, at the same time, elegant. As a rule, the wines suggest floral notes of roses, wildflowers, blackberries and stems, being regularly associated with the Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional grape varieties.
For those who like Tempranillo (especially the Ribera del Duero), Sangiovese or Carignan.
It is the same grape variety as the Spanish Tempranillo. Tinta Roriz is very fine and of extraordinary quality, so it is present in two legendary wines produced in the Iberian Peninsula: Portuguese Barca Velha and Spanish Vega Sicilia. This grape has also been cultivated for centuries in the Alentejo, but with the name of Aragonese. In good years it produces full-bodied, dark and very aromatic wines. It has fine and delicate aromas of pepper and grapes. Aragonês caste has high yield and is indispensable for the lot of a good Port. Varied red wines also show good results, especially in the Dão region, while the best lots in Alentejo generally correspond to wines with large percentages of Tinta Roriz, such as the dried red wines of the Douro.
It has been present in the Douro since the 18th century, knowing that its presence in Dão is much more recent.
Because it is almost economically unfeasible, by offering incredibly low productivity, its survival has already been at risk. It has very small curls, presenting itself as a variety of late maturation. Its dense and thick film guarantees adequate resistance to attacks of mildew and rot. The mouth shows the greatness of the caste, visible in the perfect balance between tannins, acidity and sugar, in the softness and hardness of the tannins, giving body to floral wines, dense, solid and long lasting. It is often crowded with the Touriga Nacional and Aragonez varieties, among others. It produces wines loaded with color, with delicate and floral aromas.
A Vinhão or Sousão variety, depending on the Minho or the Douro, is not a true dyer. Its pulp is slightly rosy, without the intense red of other dyers, but instead has an extraordinary ability to loosen color from the dark film to the must in which it macerates. Therefore, it produces the most loaded wines of color of Portugal and surroundings - the new Vineyards of the Green Wines. Dyed or not, it tints like anything else.
It is one of the most planted grape varieties in the Douro, registered in the restricted group of five grape varieties recommended for the elaboration of Port Wine.
It is a prolific caste in yield, generous in the alcoholic degree, managed to combine high yields with generous sugar contents. Convincing terms of excess heat and water stress, easily passing over sudden overdrives. Regular in production and resistant to diseases and pests, it gives rise to well composed wines of color, soft but rude and rustic, of high alcoholic potential. Rarely is it bottled on its own, present in most of the lots of Douro. In South Africa it took an unusual role, being approved regularly in the calm and generous wines of the southern country.
Malvasia Fina is present in the northern interior of Portugal, especially in the Douro, Dão and Beira Interior, comparing the Távora-Varosa and Lisbon sub-regions.
It is particularly sensitive to powdery mildew and mildew to rot, mildew and decay, providing extremely variable and inconsistent yields. The wines announce, as a rule, luscious symptoms, not nose and mouth, vague notes of wax and nutmeg, allied to smoked sensations, even when the wine does not undergo any stage in wood. The wines of Malvasia Fina are traditionally discreet, mildly intense, reasonably fresh and moderately complex. It is a batch variety which, in the cooler regions and when harvested early, works as a foaming base, with evidence given in the regions of Távora-Varosa and Lamego.
Gouveio ou Verdelho
Profound in the Douro, a Gouveio caste is now widespread throughout the continental territory.
For years it was wrongly cataloged as Verdelho, a quality that led to a desert as two nomenclatures. It is a productive breed and quite temporary, fairly generous in yields, sensitive to powdery mildew and late rains, with medium and compact bunches that produce small yellowish-green color. As it is a caste naturally rich in acids, which provides fresh and live wines, its diffusion to the South, especially to the Alentejo, has been fruitful and rapid. It gives rise to wines with firm acidity and good alcoholic strength, full bodied, fresh aromas and citrus fruits, with notes of peach and anise, with the balance between acidity and sugar. It enjoys good conditions to present a good aging in bottle.
Of Douro origin, a caste Rabigato extends throughout the Upper Douro.
By mistake, in the past it is related to a variety Sheeptail, variety with an unqualified appearance. Rabo de Ovelha, who, equally erroneously, outlined a designation Rabigato in the Vinho Verde region, has no relation. The wines are alive and well balanced, good alcoholic degrees, freshness and structure, characteristics that are elevated to the promising caste status in the Douro. It has medium curls and small, yellowish-green berries. It can, in the best locations, be serradely, offering aromatic notes of acacia and orange blossom, vegetable sensations and traditionally, a daring minerality. It is a mouth, however, that justifies its reputation, with a mordant and penetrating acidity, capable of rejuvenating the whites of the Upper Douro.