Odds and Ends

Just some bits and pieces for today’s posting, starting with a brief overview of a few of Portugal’s more noteworthy wine appellations.

Currently there are officially 26 wine regions in Portugal categorized as Denominacao de Origem Controlada (DOC), the top classification for wine produced in the country.  Included are the fortified wine DOCs of Madeira and Porto, and the still wine DOCs Dao, Douro and Vinho Verde.

Dao DOC: Located in the Beria Alta in North Central Portugal, this DOC is noted for its elegant red wines.  Portugal’s most important grape variety, Touriga Nacional, is believed to have originated here.

Douro DOC: Situated in the Douro River Valley, this non-fortified DOC produces full-flavored red wines from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, Tinta Cao and Tinta Barroca grape varieties.  The legendary fortified wine Porto (Port) is produced here as well under the Porto DOC.

Vinho Verde DOC: Literally translated as “green wine”, this primarily white wine DOC borders the Atlantic in the North.  Alvarinho (Albarino) grapes are vinified into a crisp, dry and slightly fizzy wine.

Madeira DOC: Fortified DOC located on the Island of Madeira.  The classic styles ranging from driest to sweetest are Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey.  A lighter wine labeled “Rainwater” is also produced from the Tinta Negra Mole grape variety.

For a detailed map of these and other Portuguese wine appellations, here’s a link to Kobrand’s excellent webpage that contains a complete wine map library:

http://www.kobrandwineandspirits.com/maps/index.php

BTW, the Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 list for 2010 awarded 12 wines from Iberia (3 from Portugal and 9 from Spain) a spot on its coveted roster.  Number 44 on the list is a tasty Rioja Crianza from Bodegas LAN (2006 vintage, 90 points).  It’s due to arrive soon here at ABCFWS.  Look for it in January.

Jim Greeley, Wine Supervisor, SW Florida

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