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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
16 Dec 2010
 

Last week's Wines of Portugal International Conference in Porto had as its subtheme a celebration of Portugal's most famous grape Touriga Nacional. Although it is arguably best in a blend, the organisers decided that to have a tasting to identify the best 100% varietal examples would help raise international consciousness of the variety and submissions were therefore sought.

As I toured the wine fair shown yesterday, I found several good producers who did not get round to entering their wines. There were also some surprises, apparently, about some of the wines rejected from the original list of 80 wines in the pre-tasting organised in Lisbon with various Portuguese wine luminaries, so the results below should not be regarded as anything like definitive.

I showed you the setting for the tasting by an international panel of wine writers of the final 30 Touriga Nacionals on Tuesday. Below is a short film of the spectacular setting for the announcement of the results, over dinner in Porto's old stock exchange. This northern Portuguese city, well served by budget airlines, would make a great base for a weekend or longer wine-based holiday - especially now that so much investment has been poured in to upgrade and renovate it. The Douro, Dão, Bairrada and Minho are all within easy reach, and there are now some extremely ambitious restaurants such as Rui Paula and Quarante4.

When it came to announcing the final top ten Tourigas, which for political reasons could not be ranked, the ten had suddenly morphed into 12, because, we were told, three wines gained exactly the same number of points. Here - listed strictly in alphabetical order by region, mind - are the dozen wines that garnered highest scores in our tasting.

Alentejo
Herdade da Mingorra, Alfaraz Touriga Nacional 2008
Herdade São Miguel Touriga Nacional 2008

Algarve

Marques dos Vales, Grace Touriga Nacional 2008

Bairrada

Dão Sul, Encontro Touriga Nacional 2008

Beira Interior

Quinta do Cardo Touriga Nacional 2008

Dão

Fontes da Cunha, Munda Touriga Nacional 2008
Perdra Cancela Touriga Nacional 2008
Quinta das Mairas Touriga Nacional 2008

Douro
Churchill's Estate Touriga Nacional 2008
Inquieto Touriga Nacional 2008
Quinta da Pedra Alta Touriga Nacional 2007
Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional 2008

Below is the complete list of the 30 wines we tasted blind - strictly alphabetical of course. It was unfortunate that all the samples of Plansel we had to taste were affected by TCA. (See My neighbour Mr Amorim, published yesterday.)

Adega de Pegões Touriga Nacional 2008 Terras do Sado
Aveleda, Follies Touriga Nacional 2008 Bairrada
Cartuxa, Scala Coeli 2007 Alentejo
Casa de Santa Vitória Touriga Nacional 2007 Alentejo
Casa Ermelinda Freitas Touriga Nacional 2008 Terras do Sado
Castello d'Alba Unoaked Touriga Nacional 2009 Douro
Churchill's Estates Touriga Nacional 2008 Douro
Dão Sul, Encontro Touriga Nacional 2008 Bairrada
Delaforce Touriga Nacional 2007 Douro
Fontes da Cunha, Munda 2008 Dão
Herdade da Mingorra, Alfaraz Touriga Nacional 2008 Alentejo
Herdade do Esporão Touriga Nacional 2008 Alentejo
Herdade São Miguel Touriga Nacional 2008 Alentejo
Inquieto Touriga Nacional 2008 Douro
Marques dos Vales, Grace Touriga Nacional 2008 Algarve
Murganheira, Espumante Touriga Nacional Bruto NV Tras-os-Montes
Pedra Cancela Touriga Nacional 2008 Dão
Plansel, Selecta 2008 Alentejo
Quinta da Pedra Alta Touriga Nacional 2007 Douro
Quinta da Pellada, Carrossel 2007 Dão
Quinta da Touriga Chã 2007 Douro
Quinta das Marias 2008 Dão
Quinta das Tecedeiras Touriga Nacional 2007 Douro
Quinta do Cachão 2008 Douro
Quinta do Cardo Touriga Nacional 2008 Beira Interior
Quinta do Couquinho, Reserva Touriga Nacional 2008
Quinta do Noval Touriga Nacional 2008 Douro
Quinta do Portal Touriga Nacional 2009 Douro
Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional 2008 Douro
Quinta dos Barreiros,
Gravato 2006 Beira Interior

I shall be writing in more detail about this tasting and Portugal's interesting and distinctive wines in the New Year.