RKS Wine: Cabeça de Toiro from Tejo: Portugal’s Fringe Wine Region

If you have familiarity with the red wines of Portugal that are available in Canada it is the Douro that rules. Alentejo trails in second position and Lisboa in third. Dão wines are a distant fourth. Well Tejo is in the “other box” which may be an attraction to the adventuresome. It is sandwiched between the wine regions of Lisboa and Alentejo.

It is a blend of 34% Syrah, 33% Castelão and 33% Touriga Nacional. Castelão has a nickname of Periquita meaning little parrot. It has been aged 9 months in French oak.

Aromas of cherry, ripe raspberries, cassis and a tad of spicy cinnamon. The tannins are restrained. One can’t help notice that spicy cinnamon accompanied by blackberry and crafty acidity which is well woven into the wine. With the acidity I think it is a good “with food” wine. In my last visit to Greece I had some very interesting chicken prepared in a tomato sauce with a pinch of cinnamon. Recently I tried a Turkish green bean recipe with cinnamon. This wine would be an ideal match for those dishes.

I would drink this year. Where acid is noticeable even when well integrated into a red wine I become a bit skitterish about ageing it.

(Cabeça de Toiro 2017 Reserva, DOC Tejo, Enoport, Rio Maior, Portugal, $17.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 25248, 750 mL, 13.5%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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