40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 30% Touriga Franca
The table reds from the Douro region of Portugal can be downright inky, often more appropriate for February than August. However, winemaker Felipe Ferreiro uses a lighter touch for Mary Taylor's label, blending the aromatic intensity of Touriga Nacional, the pedigree of Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), and the structured elegance of Touriga Franca grapes with a deft hand. Quinta da Foz is located at the junction of the Douro River and its tributary, the Pinhão, in the Cima Corgo subregion. Here, in the center of the Douro Valley, steep terraces are cut into the schist riverbanks, where vine roots seek out the pockets of moisture in the foliated sheets of schist, bringing a great minerality to the final wine.
As you pull into the iconic train station at Pinhão, you’ll notice the beautiful hand-painted blue tiles (azulejos) depicting the grape harvest. Quinta da Foz is just over the Pinhão River from the station. The Calém family acquired it in 1872, and today Filipe Ferreira heads the winemaking. The property of the Quinta consists of 20 hectares, of which half are old vines and the rest are olive groves. The grapevines’ average age is 80 years old, and Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz are predominant. This small, 20-hectare property is classified by the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto), who gives this Quinta an A-rating for its choice terroir. Everything is hand harvested. All of the wines are foot-pressed in large granite lagares.
The wine opens with notes of ripe tomato and tight red currant along with some mint and dill. The palate is well structured, with firm but balanced tannin framing additional aromas of plowed earth, blackberries and plum. A great pick for steaks on the grill with a simple caprese salad on the side. Roasted or braised meats, risotto, cheese-based pasta, chili and hamburgers. This is a great wine to try for those who haven’t tried this region yet!