2021 Mary Taylor Douro Tinto, Douro, Portugal
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The Douro wine region takes its name from the Douro River, flowing from its source in north-central Spain (under the name Duero) across northern Portugal to its outlet at Porto, on the Atlantic Coast. Known as the vinhateiro, this glorious winegrowing region was the first in the world to have a formal demarcation (under the 1756 Portuguese charter protecting Port wine) and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. The Douro River valley vinhateiro is sheltered from Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains and has a hot, continental climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Terraced vineyards line the steep, rugged riverbanks, subdivided into three subregions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.
Quinta da Foz is located at the junction of the Douro River and its tributary, the Pinhão, in the Cima Corgo subregion. Here, in the center of the Douro Valley, steep terraces are cut into the schist riverbanks, where vine roots seek out the pockets of moisture in the foliated sheets of schist, bringing a great minerality to the final wine. As you pull into the iconic train station at Pinhão, you’ll notice the beautiful hand-painted blue tiles (azulejos) depicting the grape harvest. Quinta da Foz is just over the Pinhão River from the station.
The Calém family acquired it in 1872, and today Filipe Ferreira heads the winemaking. The property of the Quinta consists of 20 hectares, of which half are old vines and the rest are olive groves. The grapevines’ average age is 80 years old, and Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz are predominant. This small, 20-hectare property is classified by the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto), who gives this Quinta an A-rating for its choice terroir. Everything is hand harvested. All of the wines are foot-pressed in large granite lagares.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
The first thing you’re bound to notice when you pick up a bottle of Mary Taylor Wine is the lack of a familiar grape on the label. No Pinot Noir or Cabernet, no Chardonnay or Merlot.
That’s because we, the team of lifelong wine lovers who make up the Mary Taylor company, think about wine differently than the usual brands lining the shelves of your local supermarket or big box store. To us, the name of the grape only tells part of the story of what wine is supposed to be. The missing key, which the great winemakers of Europe have known for centuries, is “place.”
When Mary first fell in love with wine in the early 1990’s, it was the European classics that truly spoke to her and stole her heart. As a young professional selling French and Italian wine, first in the New York wine auctions and then as a merchant, she quickly learned to appreciate wine in the “Old World” way— not as a luxury good reserved for special occasions, but a living agricultural product that belongs to everyday life.
|Grape(s)||Touringa Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca|