Pure Bairrada

I’ve said it here before and I will say it again – I love Bairrada reds made from the region’s traditional variety Baga. It is such a versatile grape, making wines that range from light-bodied reds sometimes resembling Pinot Noir, to hearty full-bodied wines that can remind us of Barolo, not to mention excellent “blanc de noir” sparkling wines.

What we have here is truly authentic Baga, the name Giz meaning chalk in Portuguese and referring to the poor-quality chalky soil where centenary vines produce fruit of outstanding quality.

The producer Luís Gomes prides himself on producing what he calls “unmasked” wines of minimal intervention, fermenting this wine in traditional stone lagares and ageing for 20 months in French oak.

The 2017 vintage was bottled in June 2019 and released last year after bottle-ageing. Good quality Baga like this is made for ageing but, at four years old, this one is already drinking very well.

The wine is delicate on the nose with the well-integrated oak allowing ripe red and blue fruit aromas to come to the front with hints of menthol and liquorice.

Medium- to full-bodied, it is deep and complex in the mouth with good acidity adding freshness and a typical Baga-style long, dry finish. €21.95 at Apolónia and worth every cent.

patrick.stuart@open-media.net