Tag Archives: Quinta das Bageiras

Baga me (Bairrada, Portugal – Day Two)

There are a small number of grape varieties can be set apart from all others. Their defining characteristic is that they can only be grown in a few specific parts of the world, and can only be made well in the best places by people who truly respect the partnership between the vine and the environment. Another of their defining characteristics is that they are the few that should always be made as mono-varietal still wines, and are also hugely influenced by the viticulturalists and winemakers who work with them. For white wines there is really only two in my humble opinion – riesling and chardonnay – although the latter is one of the most planted white varieties in the world. In terms of red wine there is a select group with a few knocking on the door. The outsiders are syrah, sangiovese and tempranillo, whilst the insiders are pinot noir and nebbiolo. There is one Portuguese variety that has been spoken about as joining this elite few, and that variety is baga. I agree that the variety has the potential to have the same silky tannins, delicate yet firm structure, and brightness of fruit that characterises the other two, but I need to taste more before I am certain it isn’t an also-run. I also believe the winemakers here need to get more experience, as they have only been making premium wines from this variety quite recently.
Above the vineyards of Campolargo in Bairrada, Portugal

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Quinta das Bageiras – 10/07/2012

Bruto Natural 2010 (maria gomes, bical, cerceal)
Quite vibrant fruit driven, citrus, golden delicious. Clean balanced very fresh unassuming, clean pure fruit, light minerality. Sits somewhere between prosecco and cava.

Bruto Natural Rose 2010
Bright pure fruit, fresh red berries, a little salty and like purified water. Fresh fruit, very light balanced, slightly fruit creamy on the back, pleasant full balanced.

Grande Reserva 2004 (old vineyards, bical and maria gomes)
Marked difference in the autolysis characters. Some really interesting almond croissant aromas, like almond biscotti, rich ripe nose. Very smooth opulent, broad and rich, some savoury salty cured notes as well, a little cheesy. Very refined and opulent, an amazing example, one of the best I’ve tasted.

Vinho Branco 2011 (maria gomes, bical, cerceal)
Very bright fresh aromatics, quite similar to viognier, apricots, spice, oranges. Light fresh clean pure, again very similar to a blend of marsanne and viognier.

Garrafeiera Branco 2010
More complex fruit aromas, riper drier citrus and stone fruit notes, slight toasty cheese elements, some flinty minerality. Wonderful texture, very opulent and long, creamy still great freshness, but it is all the mouth feel.

Pai Abel Branco 2010
Spicy slightly green peppery notes, more wild style, skin contact stalky, slightly smoky toasty notes from barrel fermentation and battonage. Richer fuller texture from the barrique, crunchier and needing more time in bottle.

Colheita 2010 (baga 85%, touriga nacional 15%)
Spicy syrah like fruit profile, wild whole bunch characters. Soft smooth full and long, great tannin structure and fruit vibrancy, showing somewhere between pinot noir and syrah.

Reserva 2009 (40% touriga nacional)
Much more subtle smoky toasty bramble spice. Bold powerful fuller on the palate, denser bigger tannins, but more mellow and broad. Generous and approachable, a little fruit sweetness very late, slightly Italian traditional wine.

Garrafeira 2008 (100% baga)
Deeper darker fruit and floral aromas, rich meaty sweetness on the nose. Denser fuller and more powerful structure, broad yet focused, wonderful balance, quite young and in need of some development in the bottle, not opening up at the moment, quite forward. I’m sensing a pattern with baga wines.

Garrafeira 2003
Wonderfully rich smoky toasty maturity on the nose, opulent open aromatic nose, complex meaty. Soft rich silky and complex, fruit opening up very expressively and confidently, assured, I agree it would be difficult to distinguish between old pinot noir, nebbiolo and baga.
The first vintage in the cellars of Quinta das Bageiras

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