Wine Of The Week
I know Portugal pretty well and the Alentejo region, to the East of Lisbon, in particular. I have even made wine there a few times, so when a wine comes along that turns an established region, and the Queen of all Portuguese red grapes, on its head, I sit up and listen. Literally, ‘Naked Touriga’, this wine uses Portugal’s most famous red grape and strips it of any clothing. This is inspired because Touriga, so often, relies on oak for succour. Via Nua takes its fruit from infertile, rocky, schistous soils, lets it ferment naturally and then only spend 3 months in steel tanks before bottling it with all of its flavours still raging. This tactic captures all of the vital essence of this grape like never before. Even the alcohol is a shock – a lowly 13%, which is bizarre considering that this grape forms the backbone of the finest Vintage Ports ever made. Only 9900 bottles were made and only a fraction of these has made it to our shores, so phone Lay & Wheeler immediately if you would like to taste this wine. Winemaker António Maçanita knows what he is doing and I feel that he might change the paradigm for Touriga Nacional, because this rose petal, fresh blood and liquorice-scented wine is sheer heaven. It is what Nosferatu would drink before a night of light slaughter and he was a creature of exquisite taste.