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This is a value: Colares, let alone with age, at $30 is not something we see very often any longer. This bottling of Malvasia is from the Adega Regional, one of the standard-bearers of winemaking in the region, founded in 1931. The grapes come from the region's famed old, ungrafted vines grown on beach sand (Arenae is the local name for the sandy soils where these old vines grow ). Medium-bodied, saline, spicy, and elegantly textured, this is a classic, elegant expression of Colares Malvasia that is in an outstanding place for drinking now, or for holding onto over the next few years. Ben Fletcher
The Phaunus Pet Nat is all Loureiro, vinified in stainless steel with no added yeast or sugar. There is a short period of maceration, and disgorgement is after 5 months of aging, with no filtration or fining. Super dry, refreshing and textured, this is a wonderful addition to the ever-changing Pet-Nat section here at Chambers, and comes highly recommended for any fan of tasty bubbles. -EL
Casa de Saima is located in the heart of Bairrada , producing cuvees from 18 hectares of vines in the region. Tonel 10 comes from 50-year-old Baga vines from Casa de Saima’s oldest vineyard. The grapes are hand-harvested, crushed by foot, and then allowed to spontaneously ferment in lagar for about seven days. The wine is then matured in large, seasoned oak vats for one year. The result is the lightest cuvée from Casa de Saima. It is a ruby color in the glass with a nose of wild strawberry, cassis, bramble fruit and earth. The palate shows density, but it never overpowers. Showcasing juicy, bright red fruits, terrific acidity and soft tannins, this is a lovely lighter styled Baga. Pair with roasted chicken thighs, lamb burgers, or alheira.
The name for this wine, Dnmc (or Dinamico), reflects the idea that expressions of the local Baga grape from different locations will produce a complex, and dynamic wine. It also could be seen as a nod to the biodynamic principles and treatments that Filipa Pato and William Wouters have introduced in their vineyards. They have been increasingly focused on organic and biodynamic viticulture as the years go by, much to our delight! 100% Baga, this medium-bodied red is fresh, and vibrant, with a touch of wild red fruit and dark berries, and subtle spice. Fermentation and aging is in tank with minimal extraction, but long maceration periods still provide good structure to the wine. Overall, it's a great introduction to the very enjoyable Baga grape, specifically here involving limestone terroir and the Atlantic influence of western Bairrada.
(Was $15.99) Bairrada, with its cooler maritime climate, has a long history of producing fresh and distinctive sparkling wines of quality from the native grapes of the region. Filipa Pato admirably keeps the tradition alive with her delicious and unpretentious brut rosé made from a blend of Bairrada’s signature noble red variety Baga and the tangy high acid white grape, Bical. Spicy and zesty with notes of bright citrus and red berries, this is a great (and affordable!) pairing for baked fish with paprika and Iberian olive oil or smoked fish brunch.
A delightful skin contact Pet-Nat from Tiago Sampaio at Folias de Baco. All Moscatel Galego, a local Muscat found in the Douro, the wine has lovely floral aromas, with a delicately textured mouthfeel and fine mousse. Aside from some cloudiness to the wine, there is nothing funky about it, and it definitely excels in the refreshment department. Though tasted solo, it should be great with fried foods, salads, and vegetarian fare, though may be too dry to pair with spicy or sweet dishes. This wine has arrived a season too early but if you want some Spring in your step, search no further. EL
Sara Dionísio and António Lopes Ribeiro are at the forefront of organic (certified) and biodynamic wine growing in Portugal. And the wines keep getting better and better! This red is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Água Santa, Tinta Pinheira and Baga from multiple vineyards planted on granitic soils in the Dão, fermented with native yeasts and raised in neutral French barrels for 8 months. Medium-full bodied.
A delicious and curious white blend of Encruzado, Malvasia-Fina, Bical, Cerceal-Branco, Rabo-de-Ovelha, Fernão-Pires, Uva-Cão, Síria e outras... and probably a few other un-confirmed varieties. The idea for Sara and Dionisio, is to present a white that has all the character of the Dão: a field blend that can transport us to their home. It's textured, with a touch of almond skin, herbs and white flowers. Fermentation is in stainless steel after 1 day of skin contact. Aging on the lees for 8 months before bottling. -EL
Lúcia Freitas manages Quinta da Mariposa, located in Carregal do Sal in the Dao región of Portgal. The Dao is home to Portugal’s oldest varieties, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. Mariposa’s Tinto is a blend of both of these varieties and a little bit of Jaen (or, Mencia). It shows notes of wild strawberry, bramble, some brown spice and fresh herbs. JDC
This is a new offering from Quinta do Regueiro, which sees a part of the juice being given extended contact with the skins and lees. It's not an orange wine, as there is another portion of the wine that is fermented without skins in the style of their Alvarinho Reserva, and because the duration of skin contact is not very long. The real result, and what the winemaker was going for, was a refined texture and density that the skins and lees can give to the Alvarinho. We were impressed with this wine (as always with Portugal, especially for the price!), and are happy that it is part of the Quinta do Regueiro lineup. Well worth a try. -EL
Sidónio de Sousa's Reserva Tinto is a savory, medium to full-bodied expression of Baga, from clay-limestone soils in the Ancas-Bairrada. Pressing and fermentation happens in traditional small cement lagars, with aging for a year in large 4000L barrels, and a further two years in bottle before release. Pepper, black currant, oregano, and fresh earth abound. For a wine under $20, this traditional Baga over-delivers, providing the leather and cedar notes of a fine Bordeaux mixed with the finesse of Nebbiolo. Perhaps an old fashioned wine in style, this is no fault! A great value. -EL