Aragonez is currently the first Iberian red grape variety. The one that is planted the most, both in Portugal and mainly in Spain. In the world, it occupies the 6th position.
It is called Tempranillo in Spain and is most common in the regions of Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro. It is also the main red grape variety in Portugal, but here it is usually mixed with other grape varieties, mainly Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, as well as Trincadeira in Alentejo and Alicante Bouschet.
The Portuguese, depending on the region, call it by two different names: Aragonez or Tinta Roriz (the latter name is used only in the regions of Dão and Douro). The grapes have already spread rapidly in the vineyards of Ribatejo / Tejo, Lisbon, Trás-os-Montes, Estremadura, Alentejano and the Algarve, where regional wines are made from it.
It is a very special variety, very productive but able to produce excellent wines with moderate yields.
It gives rich, lively, robust red wines that combine elegance with abundant berry-fruity and spicy flavors. It is an early-maturing grape variety, very fertile, well adapted to different climatic conditions and soils, although it prefers a warm, dry climate on sandy or clayey-limestone soils.
Source: Vida Rural
There is no doubt that it is a grape variety of Spanish origin, probably derived from the Valdepeñas DO. Also in Spain, depending on the region, it has different names: Tinta del País, Tinto Fino, Tinta de Toro, Cencibel, Ull de Liebre, etc.
Aragonez / Tinta Roriz is probably appeared in Portugal between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 18th century, as the first references to grapes date back to 1822. It was imported into the Douro region by the Quinta da Romaneira and, according to early documents, was already present in Portalegre in 1875.
The spread of the grape variety in Portugal began with the emergence of cooperatives in the ’50s. As a variety that is also very well adapted to different climatic conditions and soils, it quickly spread to other regions, such as Dão, Alentejo Ribatejo or Estremadura, where it is particularly well adapted to local conditions,
In fact, the ideal condition for growing grapes is a hot and dry climate where there is less harvest and the berries are more concentrated. This variety produces wines with high alcohol content, low acids and suitable for aging, which is significantly resistant to oxidation.
In Spain, the name of Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word ‘temprano’, which means ‘early’, and the biggest advantage of grapes is that they ripen quickly.
In good vintages, it gives full-bodied and highly aromatic wines with a mild leathery aroma and aromas of pepper and berries such as ripe strawberries.
Aragonez gives high yields and is also essential for good Port blends. Varieties of red wines can also show good results, especially in the Dão region, while the best Alentejo blends usually contain a higher percentage of Tinta Roriz, just like dry reds in the Douro. However, it shows its best side when mixed with other varieties.
The grapes normally add color to the wines made from it, and its wines are intensely fragrant and complex. The initial plum and wild fruity aromas become more complex with development. It gives soft-tasting wines with elemental acids, tannins, considerable structure and complexity.
Source: Vida Rural
Making white champagne (without the aggressive tannins that sometimes appear in reds) results in fine and complex wine. However, that is why it has a prominent role among red varieties in Spain. Aragonez / Tempranillo gives the best Iberian reds.
Moreover, it was an important ingredient in the best vintage Port wines in the last century. Many Port winemakers have chosen two main grape varieties for their famous Port wines: Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. Roriz was chosen for its delicate and intense aroma of fresh and elegant red berries as well as its hard tannins to help other less strong grape varieties in this matter, but mainly because this grape contributes the most contributes to longevity and improvement of bottle wine.
Aragonez goes well with Asian and Indian dishes, as well as lighter, less oily fish like swordfish, sharks, or tuna. In addition, they also go well with vegetarian dishes, especially those made with grilled vegetables bring exceptional pairing opportunities.
Aragonez / Tinta Roriz is today an indispensable grape variety that can produce excellent wines, either on its own or as a blend, in Spain or Portugal.
The real queen of grapes on the Iberian Peninsula.
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