WHAT IS TOURIGA?
Over the past 12 years, Flowstone has vinified a wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga, colloquially known as “the CaT”. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the classic Portuguese Port wine variety, Touriga Nacional, is the least typical of Cabernet blend partners. But in terms of wine character, varietal synergy and, most important, drinkability – it’s up to the task.
Whilst we live and breathe Cabernet Sauvignon in Margaret River, Touriga is scarce and not well known in the region. Of the grape varieties suitable to blend with Cabernet Sauvignon or even make as a varietal wine, why then choose Touriga?
TIME TO TRY TOURIGA
Well, we like a challenge! And like many winemakers we were already familiar with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Shiraz as blend options. Touriga is an excellent climate-proofing grape, with the ability to thrive in a dry, warm Mediterranean climate, such as the Iberian Peninsula. To further attest to its quality, Touriga is now a permitted grape variety in the premier Cabernet appellation of France, Bordeaux.
Touriga also carries flavours of vintage port, and we soon realised it could work as table wine (not fortified). This, combined with the availability of a tiny planting of Touriga in Margaret River, compelled us to give this lesser-known varietal a go.
Because of the limited supply locally, the opportunity to blend with Cabernet Sauvignon was a logical step. The blends made since 2010 show a natural harmony of flavour and structure between Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga, especially as the wines mature.
WHAT DOES TOURIGA TASTE LIKE?
If you haven’t tasted Cabernet Touriga, then to begin, Cabernet’s briary fruits and long fine tannins drive the flavour and structure. Touriga then offers riper plum, chocolate and cherry with supple tannins that soften and enrich the mid-palate. Time in fine French oak adds dimensions with its talc-like tannins and soft spices. Fine, supple, layered tannins, soft acidity and savoury mineral notes provide a fine structure to support this wine’s long, lasting and abundant flavours. The result is an eclectic yet complimentary mix of flavour and structure.
A NEW CHAPTER FOR TOURIGA
Over the past twelve years, Flowstone has planted Touriga in Forest Grove and gathered a greater understanding and appreciation of it. We are challenged by Touriga’s unruly growing behaviour yet appreciate its unique varietal notes. With resounding confidence in the growing and making of Touriga, we will, later in 2022, release a varietal 2018 Touriga, grown on the Flowstone vineyard. And so, it is farewell to “the CaT” and hello to Touriga.
We look forward to sharing it with you later in the year, in the meantime don’t miss out on the last of our Cabernet Touriga. A fantastic addition to your cellar.
You might enjoy reading some of our other blogs: