Vadio – A pure taste of Bairrada

What a strange name for a wine. Vadio is a Portuguese word that loosely translates to “tramp” or “stray”, often used when talking about a stray dog – “um cão vadio”. In this case, I expect the producers at this small family-owned winery in the Bairrada region chose the name as they consider themselves to be something of a stray when it comes to not following modern wine trends.

This project seems to be all about purity, starting with the brand itself. They only have two wines; one white and one red, as opposed to the entry level, mid-range and premium offerings of most other wineries.

Then there is purity when it comes to the origin of what is in the bottle. The red is made from Baga, the white from Cercial and Arinto – the typical grapes of the region. These are not “easy” wines by any means and I felt the need to decant both the red (2014) and the white from 2016 shown here.

On opening, both wines seemed “tight” but, after decanting and being allowed to breathe for a few hours, they opened up a little. The white has subtle lemony and vegetal notes on the nose, solid acidity and a very dry finish. The red is ruby colour in the glass, medium bodied with soft tannins from 18 months of oak ageing and a further year in the bottle before being released. Like the white, it is not particularly expressive on the nose, revealing only hints of mature red fruits and well-integrated oak.

These are not for those who like juicy fruit-driven wines. But for those who appreciate purity and subtlety, and especially for Bairrada fans, these wines deliver. Both the red and the white are priced at €14.95 in Apolónia.

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