Baga - My New Love Affair
Portugal is such a vast country with indigenous grape varieties flourishing left, right & centre and they are anything else but mediocre.
We find some fantastic value for money in Alentejo, which in itself has various different sub climates that influence wine styles from powerful to fresher wines.
Dao's cooler elevated plateau that produces some stunning blends of Portugals own answer to Cabernet Sauvignon aka Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro & Jaen.
We have recently held one of our 3 week serious of virtual wine tastings including
the Rose Vulcanico from the Azores Wine Company on the Islands the White Rabigato Blend Xisto Illimitado from Luis Seabra from the historical port production area of Douro and Baga Dinamica from Filipa Pato an indigenous grape to Bairrada, literally on route from Oporto to Lisbon close to the coast.
You most likely have tried Baga at least once in your life. It forms the refreshing part (acidity) of the well known volume brand Mateus Rose in its Boxbeutel shaped bottle. Baga has a striking acidity that adds
a distinct liveliness to a blend. Being a very vigorous grape it was a super popular variety to produce volume, however with quantity the quality slipped away & produced less interesting wines.
Luis Pato is known as the Baga Rebel in the region as he saw & revived the potential of Baga when its vigorous nature was tamed.
Baga becomes this perfumed, structured wine with a crisp acidity & refined tannic structure that has immense aging potential showing similarities to the famed Nebbiolo of northern Italy.
Luis Daughter Filipa, more recently crowned Winemaker of the year in Portugal, has taken Baga to a total new level.
Her Motto: "Authentic Wines without Make up" we tried her Baga Dinamica a young vibrant super delicate & perfumed red without any barrel aging she managed to tame
Bagas tannins to let them appear quite silky on the palette….I was in love as soon as I put my nose in my glass.
I had tried her Baga more than 10 years ago, and yes it was well made then, but the tannins were drying and the wine was fighting with me…not a love affair then, but it stayed in my memory.
My impressions have changed drastically, Filipa’s wines show their purity of terroir, mineral texture, succulent fruit and harmony of silky tannins and a vibrant acidity it makes your eyes water…for happiness!
The wines can be be enjoyed on there own, but are made to work amazingly well with food. At 12% alcohol the wine does not overpower the majority of foods, lightly grilled vegetables & Bacalao (Cod) as well as panfried juicy Duck breast on spicy Morello cherries.
The Dinamica can even be enjoyed slightly chilled as the tannins are so refined & delicate they will be adding structure to hold the wine up when confronted with salt or grilled aromas.
For the curious Wine taster, I suggest to also try Filipa’s Sparkling Rose ,unfiltered from Baga & Bical (Bairradas white grape), a deep pink colour vibrating happiness & so good with an antipasti charcuterie board….a must try this summer!!