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Foz De Arouce Vinhas Velhas de Santa Maria 2013
A good accompaniment to hunting birds (such as pheasant, quail or partridge), red meat (game or deer), grilled or roasted meat and aged, hard cheeses.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme. Due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation, Portugal has developed independent of its fellow European compatriots. A long and narrow country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines in various styles.
The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.