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Quinta de Cabriz Dao Colheita Seleccionada 2008
Blend of Alfrocheiro (early ripening Dão grape with good color, rich tannin, and balance of strawberry-like fruit and acidity), Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo in Spain, an early ripening varietal which produces good yields and flavors reminiscent of red fruits, plums, strawberries and blackberries. It has firm tannins and responds well to oak aging) and Touriga Nacional (One of Portugal's signature grapes, indigenous to the Dão. It has firm, rich color and complex aromas of raspberries, ripe blackcurrants, savory herbs, violets and licorice.).
Of the vineyards surrounded by pine trees, the grapes produced in integrated production give way to wines with balanced acidity and delicate aromas of the brand Cabriz. With a portfolio that ranges from Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada to Cabriz Four C, from Spirits to sparkling wines, the white and red grape varieties are vinified in a modern cellar with the support of a modern laboratory and a fully equipped tasting room.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal 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 to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small 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 of 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 include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in 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 southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.