Name: 2003 Evel Douro
Grape: Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz
Luscious, rich, spicy & brooding, this wine was incredible, especially for the price! Unbeknownst to many of us, Portugal is making some incredible table wines from the same grapes that go into their more famous port blends.
Touriga Nacional is the most revered variety for port; it also plays a significant role in dry reds, adding dark color and tannins. Tinta Roriz is an acronym for Tempranillo, which adds strong flavors and aromas to the blend. When combined these two varieties form a lovely balance.
Many of the larger port houses refuse to produce table wines because they are not as well known and cannot command the same higher prices as port. The smaller producers make table wine for themselves, as a winemaking friend of mine once said, "I make some wine to sell and I make some wine to drink". Fortunately for all of us, Douro reds are just that, wonderful, delicious wines that the winemakers are making to drink themselves.
Pair with heartier foods, rich sauces, stews, and ragus.
Stores: (One of the problems with Douro, is that there are relatively few available, I chose the Evel because it is the one that I tried, sadly I can only find it in one store. That said, I am certain that your local wine shop will carry at least one example of a dry Douro red) Astor Wines $9.99 (381 Lafayette @ W. 4th)