Irish Monkey Cellars
2006 Touriga National "Strasse"
$55 / 750 ml.

The Touriga National variety is considered by the Portugues as the French consider their Pinot Noir: intensely aromatic (with a unique lemon-lime profile), sweet mouth-tartness and a moderate extraction of red coloration. The majority of all Touriga is the backbone for Portugal's most famous fortified wine, Port (Vinho do Porto) where it adds the unmistakeable "port nose", the flowery sweet aroma unlike any other wine.

Made into a dry wine, Touriga National shows similar character, but with a fine Pinot Noir body and mouth-feel. Our Touriga shows these characteristics along with modest first-use oak, which develops substantially after the bottle is open.

Being so exuberantly aromatic in such an unusual direction, Touriga pairs with similar food that a Pinot Noir compliments: hard 'after dinner' cheeses, sweet fruit based desserts, high cacao extraction chocolate and even macaroons. A light flan would be perfect, as well.

The "Strasse" designation is a story in its own right. We have posted it here: The Strasse Story

Serving
Temperature Cool A cooler presentation keeps the unusual "lemon-lime" nose from overpowering the oak and fresh cane fruit. The wine will gradually warm, rewarding the patient with a succession of flavors - all of which are unusual - that evoke the history of Portugal itself.
Glass

Mid-bowl
Pinot Noir glass

This is one of the few wines that have a stronger 3 dimension nose than a corresponding flavor, so like the Pinot (which shares this trait), it is best to use stemware that will focus the fruit and keep the flavor profile tightly managed.
Transition to

Pinot Noir
Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon
SyrBec

With the exception of Pinot Noir (which carries a similarly powerful aromatic profile), normally it would be best to follow Touriga with a wine that has more body and mid-note structure. The Pinot idea is to compliment by comparison, not by counterpoint.