"QUINTA DOS MATTOS" TOURIGA FRANCA RESERVA
PRODUCER: COIMBRA DE MATTOS LTDA
DOC DOURO - PORTUGAL
Portugal, Europe`s fourth largest wine-growing country, can offer some of the best value wines on the market today. Laws relating to the demarcation of productions areas are rigorously enforced.
The Coimbra Ayres de Mattos family has lived in Galafura (Douro) for more than seven generations, farming and winemaking since the 17th Century.
In 1900, Don Cristovao Ayres de Mattos, granduncle of the present owners, was already receiving medals and awards at Paris International Fair, for his contribution to the industry.
Galafura is almost at the centre of the Douro demarcated region, and the family trade wines produced only with grapes grown in its farms.
Touriga Franca plays an essential role in the production of both Port and Douro wine: farmers are especially fond of its behavior in the vine, since it is easy to look after, it has regular yields, good maturation and it resists diseases.
Its wines are very expressive, with excellent color and a rather unusual fruity intensity. The freshness and elegance of the fruit also characterize its flavour, revealing soft tannins in a lasting finish. It is, no doubt, one of the Portuguese varieties which produces more fruity, harmonious and elegant wines.
Quinta dos Mattos Touriga Franca Reserva exhibits mixed aromas of red berry and plum fruits, spice with some vanilla oak. Full and ripe on the palate, rich tannins with great depth of fruit; good concentration.
ABOUT TOURIGA FRANCA
Touriga Franca (or Touriga Francesa) is one of the major grape varieties used to produce port wine. Touriga Francesa is lighter and more perfumed than Touriga Nacional and adds finesse to this powerful wine. Touriga Francesa has been described by Jancis Robinson as playing "Cabernet Franc to Touriga Nacional's Cabernet Sauvignon".
The Touriga grapes have become increasingly popular for making unfortified wines in the Douro and Dão. Its floral character and in particular the better yields have made it the fifth most planted grape in Portugal.
The official name became Touriga Franca in 2002, ostensibly to reduce confusion with the separate grape Touriga Francisca, in reality because the French had raised legal objections to the name. Only New World winemakers seem to actually use the name Touriga Franca, the Portuguese seem to have carried on using Touriga Francesa.
This is one of the most cultivated varieties in the Douro region, where it plays an essential role in the production of both Port and Douro wine, it has some common characteristics with Touriga Nacional (experts admit that formerly it might have had its origin in this variety) but it has other completely different features.
Farmers are especially fond of its behavior in the vine, since it is easy to look after, it has regular yields and a good maturation and it resists diseases. But it is in the winery that Touriga Franca shows all its worth. Its wines are very expressive, with excellent color and a rather unusual fruity intensity. The freshness and elegance of the fruit also characterize its flavour, revealing soft tannins in a lasting finish. It is, no doubt, one of the Portuguese varieties which produces more fruity, harmonious and elegant wines, thus being very valued in the blends with other varieties, such as Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional. These are very important to give the wine more longevity, one of the main weaknesses of Touriga Franca.
Nowadays Touriga Franca is starting to be fashionable in the centre and south of Portugal and, little by little, Bairrada, Estremadura, Ribatejo or Peninsula de Setúbal among others are being conquered by its qualities.