By Rick Allen for the Newcastle Herald, read the entire article here.
Chances are you haven’t heard of Touriga Nacional. But that’s about to change because there’s a small but growing band of adventurous Hunter Valley winemakers who are doing something about that. And the early signs are incredibly positive.
Touriga is a popular red wine variety in Portugal – in fact, many consider it to be that country’s finest table wine.
With similar climatic conditions between southern Portugal and the Hunter, it was only a matter of time before it was tested here in Australia.
Mike De Iuliis was quickly in on the action, first with a shiraz touriga blend that has won multiple trophies over the years, and then a straight touriga. For De Iuliis, his shiraz touriga has established itself as one of his flagship wines. “Touriga handles the heat well, which is good, but it can be hard to get ripe in the wetter vintages,” he said. “So I don’t tend to make it in those years.
“But in the warm vintages, I think there’s only been one vintage where I haven’t won a trophy somewhere with it. But I admit I’m still learning about it. I have a five-acre vineyard on Lovedale Road with shiraz and some touriga planted. The shiraz was always a nice wine – medium bodied, florals and blueberries – but when I added the touriga it lifted it and pushed it to a whole new level.”
“If it’s a good crop and I have excess fruit, I’ll make a straight touriga, but the blend is way above it in the pecking order.”
Terrific touriga … don’t hesitate.