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Temporã variety 16 May '19

One of the good things, in this wine life, is to sit down by the table having dinner making new friends. To this we call a wine dinner. The last one I had, I went to Tapas & Wines, in Almancil, where the wine is treated with the importance and dedication it deserves.

We were 10 by the table, surrounded by a well taken care and meticulously chosen wine cellar. The owner, Fred, had just travelled 2.700Km in one week in search of new nectars and new people of this “World of Wine”.

I quickly noticed that I wouldn’t leave without a pair of bottles. And so it was, I chose two red wines, to vary a little, since I am drinking less reds and more whites and sparklings. I chose something that fills me, and that is, until today, probably my favourite region of red wines in the world. Excuse me, it is a Spanish region, but it is very close to us, and this grape variety, which is “queen” in Spain, is also a reference here in Portugal. I am speaking about Toro, where Tinta de Toro is almost the only grape variety planted there; and that is also called Tinta Roriz or Aragonez, in Portugal; or, as it is known Worldwide, Tempranillo.

It seems incredible, but it is true: the Tinta Roriz variey that is planted in Toro is from another world. It is concentrated, potent, full of colour and, in the middle of everything, is also elegant, like Toro. Here in Portugal, I still think that it is misunderstood by the grape growers. It is a variety that needs poor soils and in Toro any producer will agree. But it also needs fresh climates, ideally to be planted in altitude.

It is a "temporã" variety (hence Tempranillo, as it is mostly known), that ripens before the other ones, but it cannot be hurried by the heat. In hot places, it doesn't ripe, and on the contrary, it loses all its charm, balance and elegance.

Compare Aragonez of Baixo Alentejo with one from Portalegre and you will feel what I am writing about. Or do like me and try a red wine from Toro... and then we speak.

Hélder Cunha
The wine’s my life