NY TIMES 20 under 20
The maritime Bairrada region of Portugal, with its limestone soils and host of indigenous grapes, has gained a reputation as a source of compelling wines. This red from Casa de Saima, made with the baga grape, is an excellent example. Its graceful and soulful, with earthy flavors of red fruit. Casa de Saima, a small family winery, farms biodynamically. The wine was fermented in concrete lagares, traditional vats more typical of the port region, and aged in big, old oak barrels.
Casa de Saima is located in the heart of Bairrada , producing cuvees from 18 hectares of vines in the region. Tonel 10 comes from 50-year-old Baga vines from Casa de Saimas oldest vineyard. The grapes are hand-harvested, crushed by foot, and then allowed to spontaneously ferment in lagar for about seven days. The wine is then matured in large, seasoned oak vats for one year. The result is the lightest cuve from Casa de Saima. It is a ruby color in the glass with a nose of wild strawberry, cassis, bramble fruit and earth. The palate shows density, but it never overpowers. Showcasing juicy, bright red fruits, terrific acidity and soft tannins, this is a lovely lighter styled Baga. Pair with roasted chicken thighs, lamb burgers, or alheira.