The 2008 TOURIGA NACIONAL was fermented in stainless steel and then aged in a combination of new and old French oak for 16 months. Noting the touch of cream and vanilla on opening, which integrated with some time and should integrate more with some cellaring, this shows exceptionally well, well focused, aromatic and beautifully structured, with subtle concentration—it seems elegant in the mid-palate, but it is very persistent, mouth gripping and never seems thin. It drank rather well the next day, too, after refrigeration overnight. It becomes earthier and shows more character with air. Those who follow the Douro will all rightly say that the best wines are generally the blends, but this is an awfully nice Touriga Nacional with impressive structure, powerful, yet balanced, a candidate for the best monovarietal wine I’ve had from Vallado. While not as deep as Vallado’s Reserva (reviewed this issue), it is fragrant and graceful. It should be approachable young, but a couple years in the cellar would help a lot. There were 26,256 bottles produced. Drink 2012-2024. The 2008 vintage in Portugal is probably not quite as consistent for reds as the 2007 vintage, and they are certainly differently styled, a little crisper and pointed, but on a winery-by-winery basis, some people did as well or better. Vallado seems to have put together a superb 2008 vintage. The wines seem bright and focused, with the structure to age and develop in the cellar. They are wines worth seeking out.Importer: Quintessential, 1932 Sierra Avenue, Napa, CA 94558 (707) 226-8300.