Touriga Nacional Wine
Touriga Nacional is a dark-skinned grape variety that is currently very fashionable and is widely believed to produce the finest red wines of Portugal. Extensively planted in the Portugal’s northern Dao and Douro wine regions, the variety is a key ingredient in both dry red wines and the fortified wines of Oporto (Port).
In many ways, Touriga Nacional is Portugal’s answer to France’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Both varieties display bold dark-fruit flavours, often with hints of spice, leather and violet. Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional has firm tannins, is expressive as a varietal wine and shows great ageing potential. As a blend, though, it really comes into its own, which is fortunate in Portugal where blends are de rigueur.
In Australia, Touriga Nacional is known simply as “Touriga”, but in California this abbreviation generally refers to the variety’s offspring, Touriga Franca. The Australians were producing Port-style wines long before Shiraz gained traction as a dry table wine and it makes sense that Touriga Nacional has been turned to with quality Australian expressions of dry wine in mind.