Wine Grapes: Touriga Nacional

Touriga Nacional

Pronunciation: Too-ree-gah nah-syoo-nahl

Planted in: Portugal, Spain, Australia, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

Fertile, robust, and vigorous but this high vigor and typically drooping foliage increase its propensity to coulure and hamper bunch growth so that production is generally moderate (sometimes higher in the Alentejo). Small bunches of smallish, thick-skinned berries. Mid ripening. Susceptible to powdery mildew and, to a lesser extent, to downy mildew and botrytis bunch rot.

Touriga Nacional, the most revered variety for port wines and has become Portugal’s poster child for fine dry reds too. The wines are deeply colored, concentrated, tannic, rich in dark fruit, and in some cases distinguished by their fragrance – aromas such as bergamot, rosemary, rock roses or violets. This very intensity can make such wines almost too much on their own and many believe Touriga Nacional is better in a blend. Lighter wines with lower alcohol often have a tea-like aroma. The variety also has a good level of acidity, excellent aging potential (although the wines often close down for a few years after five years in bottle), and marries well with oak.


Source: Wine Grapes 
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz
Published by the Penguin Group

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