Baga ao Sol – unoaked

The sunny side of Baga

As I have said here many times before, Baga is my favourite Portuguese grape variety. What I love about it most is its great ageing potential, but even when younger Baga reds made on their home turf in the Bairrada, with their typically dry finish and elegant structure, tend to tick all my boxes more often than any other reds here in Portugal. And so I could not resist parting with just under €20 at Apolónia to try this, the first ever Baga to be made in the Alentejo.

The producer, António Maçanita, needs little introduction. This is the man behind Fita Preta wines who is also a consultant winemaker with many projects around the country that are worthy of note.

Upon reading the rear label and giving the wine a quick Google, I was not expecting to be very fond of it.

They say that it is quite unlike any other Baga wine, the warmer climate of the Alentejo allowing the grapes to mature more, but this, in essence, would surely rob the wine of all the qualities I appreciate.

If I had tasted this blind, I am sure I would not have recognised it as a Baga. There is a profusion of ripe berry fruit on the nose that would throw me straight off and a great deal more body in the mouth than any Baga I have tried. But the wine is all the same very enjoyable with silky smooth tannins and a good acidic structure that should see it age well; a completely different take on this venerable Portuguese grape variety.

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