The Baga grape, as I have said here many times, is my favourite Portuguese variety, producing wines these days that vary in style from something light and delicate, vaguely resembling a Pinot Noir, to powerful wines that are often compared to good Barolo.
This particular producer has remained faithful to the latter style of full-bodied reds, wines that truly express the character of the small, thick-skinned Baga grape.
Like all classic-style Baga wines, it needs time and this 2013 vintage under the producer’s premium “Private Collection” label only recently found its way to the market. The grapes come from the oldest vines on the estate dating back some 70 years and are foot-trodden before fermenting in open stone vats and ageing for 22 months in both new and used oak barrels.
The wine is opulent on the nose with mature black and red fruit notes along with spices and earthy undertones. Full-bodied and complex in the mouth with polished tannins and great acidity, this is a wine of considerable power balanced with elegance and freshness and a dry enduring finish.
All of this does not come cheap, but the price of €39.95 (Apolónia) is more than justified.