Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Tinto Cão yet another addition to the Slotovino Hall of Fame

We have great pleasure in adding TINTO CÃO to the Slotovino Hall of Fame collection of great, little known grape varieties. This Portuguese beauty is usually part of Port blends but Quinta Vale da Raposa (Douro) have made a 100% Tinto Cão and the 2004 vintage (13.5%) is available in the UK at £20.99 from Wine Rack which has opened up on some old Threshers sites.

We rarely recommend wine at this price but can say in this case it is worth it.

Comments on this grape from the Internet include:

This grape grows in small clusters of medium sized berries with thick skins. It is a poorer producer in terms of overall crop size than the other key 'Port' grapes except for Touriga Nacional. It produces wines that are lower in alcohol and have less structure than the other 'Port' grapes. It is used as a blending agent to add floral characteristics to the nose and fruitiness to the taste. It is the least planted of the key 'Port' varieties but is increasing in its popularity.

Tinta Cão Red Grape Variety, one of the oldest native Portuguese grape varieties, almost became extinct because of its low yields; however, because it is considered one of the highest quality port wine varieties, it is increasing once again in popularity. The wine produced from Tinta Cão has low alcohol levels. Its vines are strong and hardy and its leaves are large and dark green. The berries are small, and they grow in small clusters. However, the berries have thick skins and are resistant to disease. The grape is sweet.
Traditionally, Tinta Cão has been planted in the Douro region of northern Portugal since the 16th century; with the increase in demand for its wine, the plantings have increased. Recently, it has also been planted in the Dão region of Portugal. It has also made its way to the United States and is being planted in Madera County in California.

Colonial Gifts

Tinta Cão, red Prtgs wine varty from Douro circ 1600. Despite hi quality of wine, vines' low yields nearly lead 2 var extinction.
mbdeliciouslife (Twitter)

Tinta Cão is a very tough skin grape that has a tendency to not ripen in hot climates. It adds dark fruit and spice box when blending.
Boozing it.

Tinta Cão translates as "red dog" in Portuguese. It is used in table wines and Ports in Portugal but is very rare on the U.S. In Portugal it is hardly every bottled as a single varietal so there aren't a lot of opportunities to try this grape variety by itself. As you can see when you try this one, Tinta Cão contributes the treble notes to wine blends. It is very delicately fruity and floral and has complexity and subtlety even when quite young.

The wine is an intriguing and complex mix of flowers and berries. It is very floral with aromas of wisteria and lavender. The fruit flavors are quite exotic and unlike those of any other red wine, but one can find hints of blueberries, strawberries, may even show a bith of pomegranate. We have no idea how this wine will age but it drinks great now, especially if allowed to breathe in a decanter before serving. It can go well with summer foods and lighter to medium fare because of its complex fruit and nice tartness. Our best guess at the moment is to suggest drinking it from now through 2010.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

Tinta Cão is a famous Portuguese red grape variety that is found mainly in Douro region. These grapes are medium sized and have thick skins.

You will have noticed everyone says 'Tinta Cão' but we say Tinto Cão, because that is what is on the label of our winning sample: Qta.Vale da Raposa.

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