Baías e Enseadas is a new label in at Apolónia and there are two varietal whites, one made from the Malvasia grape and another from Arinto.
The name chosen by the producer, which translates to bays and coves in English, is a little misleading as the vineyard is not located on the coast but a few kilometres inland, in an area that is heavily influenced by mists and breezes off the Atlantic Ocean.
The producer, Daniel Afonso, planned the vineyards in 2013 and 2014, exclusively with Portuguese grape varieties, and set out to produce what they call authentic wines and what I would call wines with attitude.
I tried both the Malvasia and the Arinto, equally priced at €19.25 in Apolónia. Both are from the 2019 vintage, aged for six months in used oak and presenting a golden yellow hue in the glass.
The stand-out wine of the two for me was definitely the Arinto, a wine of great depth and character with well-integrated oak on the nose along with hints of honey and mature white fruits, great acidity in the mouth, with good body and a slight salinity.
This is a white that can replace a red at the table, excellent with roast white meats and an ideal accompaniment for my chicken and mushroom pie one night last week.
The Malvasia is a similar wine in many ways, but I found it a little too oaky and lacking some of the depth of its sibling.