Tinta Amarela

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Tinta Amarela
Grape (Vitis)
Tinta amarella Viala et Vermorel.jpg
Tinta Amarela in Viala & Vermorel
Color of berry skinNoir
SpeciesVitis vinifera

Tinta Amarela or Trincadeira is a red wine grape that is commonly used in Port wine production. The grape is noted for its dark coloring. Its use in the Douro region has been increasing in recent years. The vine is susceptible to rot and performs better in dry, hot climates.[1]

It is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in Portugal. It is the oldest and most widely planted grape variety in the Alentejo region, where it is called Trincadeira. The wine tends to be full-bodied and rich, with aromas of blackberries, herbs and flowers.

In the vineyard, Tinta Amarela is notoriously tricky to grow. Its berries are highly susceptible to rot; this is of particular significance on Portugal's Atlantic coast, which gets broadsided by cold, wet ocean winds as soon as autumn arrives. Assuming clement weather and a smooth growing season, Tinta Amarela vines are no less challenging when it comes to harvesting them; the berries are at optimal ripeness for a very short time, making for a picking window of just a few days. Pick too early and the crop is lean and under-flavored. Pick too late and the result is an overripe harvest of cooked, over-jammy berries lacking in acidity. Consequently, Tinta Amarela is on the decline in Portugal’s vineyards, as viticulturists look to less labor-intensive varieties.

Despite the obvious challenges it presents in the vineyard, Tinta Amarela can be a highly rewarding vine to grow. In the right conditions it provides good yields of deeply colored, richly flavored fruit.

In their youth, Tinta Amarela wines offer herbaceous aromas often complemented by darker notes akin to black tea. With a little age, tangy blackberry flavors emerge. The variety has ample tannins that improve with some years in bottle.

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  1. ^ T. Stevenson "The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia" pg 335 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ISBN 0-7566-1324-8