Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Quinta da Roques 2015 Touriga Nacional, Dao, Portugal

If you think about Napa, you think Cabernet Sauvignon. If you think Burgundy, you think Pinot Noir. If you think Portugal, you should think Touriga Nacional. Touriga Nacional is the most known red grape of Portugal and also considered one of the country’s best wines. Touriga Nacional is part of Port production but it is actually one of the primary grapes of the Dão region, which is where it originates.

Touriga Nacional in the Dão may be blended with other grapes or it can be made as a single variety wine. The Quinta da Roques 2015 Touriga Nacional from the Dão is a 100 percent Touriga Nacional and is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

Quinta da Roques, a 35-hectare property, was planted in the 1970s. Working only with indigenous varieties, owner and winemaker Luis Lourenço began making single varietal wines to understand each varietal’s individual characteristics.

Touriga Nacional is a grape that produces low yields and can be challenging to cultivate, yet it is resistant to fungal diseases and can stand up to heat. It is a grape that is known for making deep ruby-colored wines with dark fruit flavors that are complex. They are wines that are seen as having the aging potential similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Quinta da Roques 2015 Touriga Nacional is a beautifully aromatic wine with notes of sweet fruits and violets. The wine is concentrated on the palate yet it is elegant. At 13.5% alcohol, it is balanced. This is a wine to pair with lamb, goat or beef or a hearty, fatty cheese.

The Quinta da Roques 2015 Touriga Nacional retails for $32.50 which makes it an excellent value for a wine that can be enjoyed now or held on to for five or ten more years.