Fitapreta Touriga Vai Nua
“O Rei vai nua!” “The king goes naked!” Antonio Maçanita, as he is wont to do, makes wine with a wink and a nod to tradition, and manages to create something that is both classic and completely new. A Touriga Vai Nua, or The Touriga Goes Naked, is one of these very wines. Taking the warmth and ripeness of the Alentejo and using it to great effect in this fresh yet lush expression of Portugal’s king of grapes, Touriga Naçional, exemplifies what makes Antonio’s winemaking so special. Like all of the wines from Fita Preta, this is unapologetically of and from the terroir of the Alentejo- warm, lush, ripe fruit. But by doing a partial carbonic maceration, whole cluster fermentation, and a mere 3 month elevage in stainless steel, he manages to create an expression of Touriga that is fresh, light on its feet, and extremely versatile – both classic and new all at once. This, as he says, is “Touriga as only winemakers have tasted it,” before it sees any wood or further adulteration. An unmitigated look at terroir and varietal.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? This is an expression of Portugal’s most well-known grape, Touriga Naçional, that manages to be both evocative of the terroir of the Alentejo and a uniquely fresh take on the “king of Portugal.” Carbonic maceration and careful attention to maintenance of acidity give this wine a beautiful duality.
RATING HISTORY: 2015 90 WA
GRAPE: 100% Touriga Nacional. Sustainably grown vines on average 30 years old . Tended in Schist rocky soil at 300-400 m (984 -1,312 ft) elevation.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: This is a versatile wine. The lush fruit profile pairs very well with roasted and grilled meats, but the low alcohol levels and lack of oak tannin make it a fine pair for lighter fare like charcuterie and cheese.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: 30 day maceration with spontaneous wild yeast fermentation. Cold stabilized, and racked to stainless steel for 3 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
PRODUCTION: 830 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The Alentejo is a large region in southeastern central Portugal, which is one of the agricultural centers of the country. The climate is Atlantic-Mediterranean, with significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature differences. This temperature range produces fruit with a natural combination of maturity and freshness. The Alentejo sees 3,000 hours of annual sunshine and 600mm of annual rainfall, less than 15% of which falls during the growing season. These vineyards are planted to rocky schist at 300-400m elevation asl.
TASTING NOTES: Dark purple. On the nose, fresh boysenberry, blackberry, plum and blueberry are commingled with a ferrous mineral note and sauvage notes of beef blood, anise and rose petals. On the palate, intense and lush, but light on its feet. The blue and black fruit are framed beautifully by fresh flowers and slate-tinged mineral. Finishes long, with a whiff of white pepper.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold