Lemon, acidity, salinity, crisp
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The grapes are hand-harvested at the beginning of September 2019, undergo vineyard sorting and whole cluster pressing with no time on skins. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel (6500L) with wild yeasts for roughly four weeks with temperature control. Bottled after first fermentation. Disgorged February 2020; no dosage. Not fined or filtered.
Pét-nat, or Méthode Ancestrale, is a method of sparkling wine production used all over the world. Unlike traditional-method sparkling wines, like Champagne, which add sugar and yeast to dry, still wine in order trigger a second fermentation and produce bubbles, pét-nat works by bottling wine that is only partially fermented.
As the first and only fermentation continues in bottle, the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) is trapped. After a period of rest that can be as short as a couple of months, the gas is absorbed into the wine as bubbles and the pét-nat is ready to drink.
Tiago Sampaio is the innovative young winemaker of Folias de Baco, a project started in 2007 that one could say was spearheaded in his childhood piggybacking on his grandfather through the farms and vineyards, always curious and plucky, willing to experiment at every step of the way. It was this incurable fascination that led him into agricultural studies at Santo Tirso and then five years of university in Vila Real, but it wasn’t until completing an agricultural engineering course that opened the doorway for his PhD studies in Oregon for Viticulture and Enology. It was here that Tiago picked up on modern philosophies and aesthetics of winemaking, while never forgetting his roots in the Douro and returning to create his estate that has garnered much attention since.
Tiago is essentially bridging the traditions of his homeland with learned modern aesthetics, creating field blends of both red, white and mixed from indigenous varietals planted some 80 years ago, while carefully attending to his new fixation of Pinot Noir vines that he makes both red and rosé. Tiago has set his sights higher, pushing the boundaries of his curiosity and what some might not expect out of such a traditional region.
15% Moscatel Galego
Albarino (Alvarinho) is a green-skinned grape variety native to Galicia on the north Atlantic coast of Spain. It is best known as being the key grape variety in the Rias Baixas DO, where it makes plump white wines with peach, citrus and mineral characters that pair perfectly with the local seafood.
Rabigato is planted throughout the Douro Superior. This is one of the Douro's best white grapes, contributing bright, refreshing acidity to white blends. When (rarely) it is vinified as a single variety, its aroma is reminiscent of acacia and orange blossom, with vegetal notes and a strongly mineral character, full body and good acid structure. The bunches are medium-sized, the grapes small and greeny-yellow in colour.
Moscatel is an Eastern Mediterranean grape that was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans. Its distinctive aroma is really easy to recognize - fresh grapes, raisins, lemons, lychees, pears and lime flowers. It has good, fresh acidity.
Bical is found mainly in the Beiras, in the DOCs Bairrada and Dão (where, incidentally, it is sometimes called "Borrado das Moscas" or "Fly Droppings"!). Bical wines are especially soft and aromatic, fresh and well structured, typically with aromas of peach and apricot, while in riper years there may be hints of tropical fruit. Bical is used a lot in the production of sparkling wines, often blended with Arinto.
Arinto is a versatile grape, grown in most of Portugal's wine regions. In Vinho Verde country, it goes by the name of Pedernã. It makes vibrant wines with lively, refreshing acidity, often with a mineral quality, along with gentle flavours reminiscent of apple, lime and lemon. Arinto-based wines can keep well but are also delicious young. Because it keeps its acidity even in hot climates, Arinto is often added to other lower-acid white grapes to improve blends
Folias de Baco is specifically located in the Alto Douro, in the sub-region of Cima-Corgo – where the land is rough, tough and challenging – you will find his vines clinging to the slopes of schist and granite at an altitude between 500-700m. Cima Corgo is the largest subregion in Douro with around 19,000 hectares of land planted to vineyards and is considered to be the center of port and wine making. The climate is warmer and drier with a predominance of schist soil - an environment which stresses the vines sufficiently to produce rich, intensely flavored grapes.
The soil is rich in marl and vines are more than 35 years old in average, so their roots go deep into the ground, therefore they can absorb a rich minerality of the soil and accumulate it in grapes that finally results in full and sophisticated taste
Tasting Notes: Lemon, acidity, salinity, crisp
Recommended pairings: Creamy pan seared scallops