An intimate dinner with friends during the summer can be such a relaxing event filled with laughter and good times. I do enjoy a good time but there is something sweet about enjoying a nice meal with good people, good wine, and good conversation. Usually good music also ensues. We invited another couple to come over and enjoy a meal since my husband enjoys cooking and all of us enjoy good wine. We prepared grilled flank steak with a chimichurry sauce, avocado salad, and jalepaño, cheesy, corn bread. Our friends brought a lovely bottle from Douro Portugal. Most people who think of Portugal and wine think perhaps, port wine (a dessert wine usually sweet red wine). However Portugal does create wines that are not dessert wines as well and the Douro region of Portugal is very up and coming. I had recently read an article about the region as well as some labels to look for so I was very excited when our friends brought the bottle; Churchill’s Estate Tinto Douro 2009 (we drank this summer of 2014).
Douro is more in the central part of Portugal. The main wine region actually is found along the Douro River above Porto. (There is a Duero region in Spain close to the border between Portugal and Spain do not let this confuse you with the region being discussed in this article). This area is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean winds and has more of a Mediterranean climate. The styles of wine being produced can range from a lighter style to a rich burgundy feel. The grape varietal for this bottle is Touriga Nacional. This is considered one of the highest qualities of grapes from this region. Touriga Nacional plays a big part in the port blends. This variety provides structure and body to the wine. Some say the relationship the grape varietal Touriga Francesa to Touriga Nacional is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc; the Cabernet Sauvignon provides structure and the Cabernet Franc fills out the bouquet. The Touriga Nacional being the Cabernet Sauvignon in this description. I think the account is spot on.
Nose: Herbal, Oak, Black Cherries, hint of smoke
Taste: Eucalyptus, Cedar, Rich Plums, Silky Tannins, finished with chocolate covered espresso beans. Smooth and big flavor.
Truly enjoyed this bottle even though it was a very warm summer evening sitting under the stars listening to the birds and cicadas. Our laughter chiming in with natures orchestra. Try this region, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Featured Image credit: http://mediberian.com