The Christmas season of 2009 was full of hustling and bustling and running about, as most Christmas seasons are. Denise and I took a break after visiting the Glendale Galleria - which is the perfect time for a break - and stopped to check out a wine store I had not been to before. At 55 Degree Wine I was met with such a wide assortment of possibilities I felt a bit daunted. After much evaluation, I managed to pick up a few bottles to take home. This wine, Vidigal Douro, was one of them.
I felt I had been lax in exploring Portuguese wines of late, and the grapes involved - 60% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Amarela - seemed very interesting. I was familiar with Touriga Nacional. It's the main grape variety used in making Porto. The Douro region is where Porto comes from, and you can taste the flavor of port in this wine. It plays remarkably well without the sweetness of Port. The wine's earthiness really dominates the flavor profile, so don't expect a fruit bomb with this one, at least not in the California style.
It's a medium-bodied wine with a dark, inky color you cannot see through. A ruby red tinge around the edge looks quite lovely. On the nose, expect black cherry with leathery, cedar notes. The palate shows the wine to be dry with a distinct lack of sweetness. It strikes me as a rather prunish taste, but I certainly don't mean that to be off-putting. The acidity is good and some backend heat dies down after 45 minutes of breathing.
Vidigal's website lists the Douro as “not currently available in the U.S.” Obviously, that's not quite true, and I am glad it's not. We paired this wine with our incredible rib roast for Christmas Eve dinner, and it was a stunning hit. It seems made for beef.
Vidigal Douro Vinho Tinto 2005
Varietal: 60% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Amarela
Appelation: Portugal > Douro
Alcohol Level: 14%
Acquisition disclaimer: I bought this wine.