The wine-growing area of Adega Cooperativa de Borba comprises over 2000 hectares: 70% are dedicated to red varieties, and 30% to white varieties.
Over the last few years, there has been a reinforcement with the introduction of new variants: Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Caiada (red grapes), and Arinto, Antão Vaz, Roupeiro (white grapes).
In this article, you’ll learn the characteristics of Adega’s red grape varieties.
Get to know its differences for future wine tastings.
This grape variety is planted all over Portugal. When young, the wines have a deep red color, similar to a pomegranate. The aroma is complex with black plums, vegetables, and pepper notes.
Besides, they are elegant with a smooth flavor and the perfect acidity and freshness levels.
The wines produced from Trincadeira usually have good aging potential.
This grape variety exists all over Portugal but also in some Spanish towns.
Aragonez is very productive and suitable to produce quality wines due to the warm and dry climate in Alentejo.
Regarding its flavor, it has wild berries and black plums notes.
Castelão is a more visible grape in the South of Portugal where the climate is warmer.
Wines produced from this variety have an intense red color and the right acidity level, being smooth and round. Their aromas include wild berries, especially currant.
It is a hardworking grape variety because if the harvesting is not taken seriously, it loses its charm and becomes rustic.
Although with a French name, this is a Portuguese grape variety, from Alentejo. It was developed by Henry Bouschet in 1855 after mixing Petit Bouschet and Grenache Noir.
Alicante Bouschet was created by having the Midi region (South) and the French colony, Algeria, in mind. It didn’t become famous in France but it was well-received in the North of Africa. Although the best wines are produced in Alentejo.
Its juice is colorful, which makes it a dye variety known as writing ink. It is a complex grape in terms of aromas by including wild berries, cocoa, olives, and herbs notes.
Its tannins are firm, voluptuous, and generous when added to a batch of different grapes.
This is the main star of the Portuguese grape varieties. Its characteristics made possible its spread throughout the country, keeping its identity and differentiating itself through the location.
The wines are known for the violet aroma, sometimes mixed roses or orange blossom notes, but also cherries, ginger, black plums, blueberries, blackberries, and jelly flavors.
The taste is elegant with soft prolonged tannins.
Syrah was born in France and it is one of the most planted grapes in the world.
In Portugal, it is mostly found in Alentejo. Its gift is to add sophistication to the batches composed of rustic grapes, but it also works very well in the solo.
The wines are smooth, elegant and include cocoa, dark chocolate, black plums and spice aromas.
Cabernet Sauvignon results from the mix of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It is possibly the most planted grape in the world. Alentejo is no exception, especially Borba.
This grape variety is known by the green peppers notes (red peppers in Alentejo) and it’s a great option to drink its wines with regional sausages.
Although there are other aromas to highlight like eucalyptus and mint.
Wines produced from Cabernet Sauvignon have a nice structure and elegance. Besides, they are used to increase the quality of other batches.
Touriga Franca is another grape variety created by man, as a mixture of Touriga and Mourisco. This match happened at the end of the 19th century to get vines easier to work and high-quality grapes in the winery.
It appeared for the first time in Douro, but Borba was where its harvesting was better succeeded.
It has rustic aromas (stubble and wild herbs) and is rarely used on its own, offering structure and balance to other batches.
There isn’t much information about this grape variety, but it is probably quite recent.
It is mostly found in Alentejo, since it enjoys a dry and warm climate.
It has a strong color with berries, black plums, and strawberry aromas.
The wines produced with this grape variety are soft.
Tinta Caiada is a grape variety more suitable for heat and sunlight exposure. That’s why it became popular in Alentejo.
It stands out for its freshness, good structure, smoothness, and longevity in the mouth.
Besides, this variety has red fruits, dark chocolate, and earthy notes.
Red wines produced in Alentejo are usually dark, full-bodied, and rich in tannins.
The characteristics of Alentejo red varieties’ are highly appreciated by the Portuguese consumer. On the other hand, they are also an export success, especially in Brazil.
Alentejo has the ideal conditions for the development of different grape varieties, due to its climate and sun exposure. These and other characteristics, including solid or geography, give the wines a unique and singular flavor.