Markus Wine Company “Toura” at the Grill

Markus in his environment, caring for vines.

Markus Wine Company, Lodi California
I met Markus Niggli in 2016 at a Wine Media Conference in Lodi, California. A chance meeting has turned into a friendship, and I have enjoyed returning to Lodi to visit Markus on several occasions. In an area known for high volume inexpensive wines, Markus is a champion for growing high quality grapes and careful, small-lot winemaking. In 2021, I had the pleasure interviewing Markus for Jancis Robinson’s annual wine writing competition. I also produced a companion video interview with Markus, posted here.

Disclosure: The wine for this post was provided as a sample. No other compensation was involved, all opinions are mine.

(click on any photo for full size slideshow)

Markus “Toura” Red Wine, Lodi California 2017 (sample, $39 winery direct) 14.6% abv
34% Touriga Nacional, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Petit Sirah
Markus manages Borra Vineyards, so he grew both the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Petit Sirah for this wine.
Eye: Medium ruby
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of violets, fresh ripe blueberries, blackberries, black plums, figs, cassis, cedar, subtle vanilla, cloves, clean earth and leather. The alcohol is noticeable on the nose, but not overly so.
Mouth: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium plus sandy tannins, full body, high alcohol, medium plus flavor intensity, long finish. The flavors reflect the nose, with the dark fruit and cassis prominent, lingering nicely.
Observations: This is a big, bold wine which manages to avoid being over-the-top. It’s rich but not plump or plush. It paired beautifully with our classic steak and potatoes dinner.

Markus Wine Company “Toura” at the Table
New recipes are fun, but we love our comforting favorites as well. Tonight, we enjoyed a simple grilled teriyaki-marinated flank steak with baked potato and grill roasted vegetables. If you have a cast iron skillet, definitely try roasting veggies in it on the grill! The Toura was really enjoyable with dinner. All that dark fruit supplemented with non-fruit flavors and firm acidity and tannins paired up with the flank steak admirably. Markus makes a variety of red wines as well as some excellent white wines. They are not in wide distribution, but if you’re curious, you can order directly from the winery here.

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