This month I chose two wines from Portugal. I know what a lot of you are thinking. I though all they made was Port in Portugal, but believe it or not they make some very nice red and white wines. The red portuguese wine comes from a producer called Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal. It is produced from Tougia Nacional grapes coming from the Lisboa region, which are completely destemmed and then undergo fermentation under controlled temperature. Post-fermentative maceration takes place during 15-20 days. It is bottled after ageing for 12 months in French Oak barrels. The aroma is of ripe fruit with lots of floral notes. It is smooth, young, elegant, and full bodied with a lively finish. It is excellent with cheese and red meat. This wine is ready to drink now or can be aged between 3-5 years.
Retail $ 20.99
The white for this month also comes from the Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal. It is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Arinto. The grapes, which must be fully matured, are hand-picked, fully destemmed, slightly crushed and immediately pressed in order to obtain a balanced and fruity must with a good acidity level. The must undergoes a partial fermentation in French Oak barrels. The wine is then aged for 6 months in steel vats. The wine exhibits aromas of mature fruit along with vanilla from the wood. It has nice acidity with forming a fresh and balanced whole. This wine is very good with cheese, pasta and non fat fish. Retail $ 15.99
Both wines this month come from the Truchard Winery located in the Carneros Region of Napa Valley. Truchard Vineyards was established in 1974, when Tony and Jo Ann Truchard came to the Carneros region of the Napa Valley and purchased a 20 acre parcel of land. They transformed what was an abandoned prune orchard into a vineyard and began selling the fruit to a local winery. Through hard work and dedication they quickly developed a reputation as one of the outstanding vineyards in Carneros. Over the past 31 years the Truchard Estate Vineyard has grown to 400 acres, of which 270 acres are planted. The Truchards now sell grapes to more than 20 premiere Napa Valley wineries.
The Truchard Estate Vineyard is a series of hills and valleys, which contain a variety of soils: clay, shale, sandstone, volcanic rock and ash. The various combinations of terrain, geology, and marine-moderated temperatures provide unique winegrowing conditions. Currently the vineyard grows 10 different grape varieties, making it one of the most diverse estate vineyards in California.
In 1989, the Truchards began making wine for themselves using only their estate-grown fruit. An old barn on the property was converted into a winery; this barn became the symbol for Truchard Vineyards and adorns the top of the wine label. With the addition of a 10,500 square foot wine cave, the winery has become a beautiful, modern facility. The winery makes 11 different wines, producing a total of 16,000 cases per year.
The 2010 Chardonnay has concentrated aromas of green apple, pineapple, and honeysuckle; with hints of vanilla, nutmeg, and toasted oak. The mouth is rich and creamy; filled with bright flavors of fresh pear, lemon, and lime. Firm acidity provides a crisp finish of citrus, mineral, and spice.
Retail $ 27.99
The 2008 Cabernet has rich aromas of black cherry, raspberry, and cassis; with a hint of cedar and vanilla. The mouth is filled with flavors of ripe plum, red currants, and berry jam. Velvety tannins fill the palate and provide a lengthy finish of spice and red fruit. Retail $ 34.99