2019 Touriga by Amador Cellars

Tonight’s occasion: 2019 Touriga by Amador Cellars, Plymouth California.

Very aromatic, floral nose as soon as you open the bottle. Wow. Reminds me of spring blossoms, wild tropical flowers, passion fruit, a touch of jasmine and honeysuckle. Is this really Touriga? Wow. Closer inspection reveals ripe berries, sweet cherries, wet granite leather and touch of licorice. As it opens up it reveals subtle notes of baker’s cocoa. I can pick up the nose from two feet away on the patio outside. What an entrancing bouquet.

Body is light, plush, soft, and chock-full of subtle layers. My goodness. I have never seen a take on Touriga like this. Crisp caramel lingers in the back, thin whispy tannins provide an ever shifting structure. Transition to finish is seamless as the whole set shifts and fades. Various notes from the nose carry through, constantly rotating over the palate.

I remember Michael the winemaker telling me this was a not the typical Touriga. It was made to be enjoyed now, even chilled. Touriga is such a massive varietal, it’s shocking to see it in this form. I have never seen a Touriga (or a red for that matter) done like this. Very creative. This is a conversation piece. I need to get more for my cellar!

Nicely done Mike and the entire crew at Amador Cellars! Wow!

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2012 Touriga by Bumgarner

Tonight’s occasion: 2012 Touriga by Bumgarner, El Dorado, California.

In my opinion one of the most understated winemakers in this region. I have followed this humble winemaker’s work for well over a decade now and have always been struck by the level of quality of his wines. I last reviewed this wine just a little over a year ago and my notes then are still spot on. This region is not known for Touriga and that is perhaps what makes this one-time vintage special.

Massive heavy nose out of the bottle. Starts off with some cherry but opens up to plum with a play between oaky licorice and heavy tobacco when swirled vigorously. I feel this wine is shining brightest right now. I expected it to have lost some of its character by now but I must say it is experiencing a very long peak. It is very much alive and evolving as I taste right now. A real treat and somewhat bittersweet moment as I am now down to what may be the last bottle in existence.

Brian Bumgarner, you already know this but I really love your life’s work and look forward to many more amazing vintages. Cheers my friend! 😁🍷🍷🍷