We have dabbled in a few Portuguese wines recently, and the few that we have tasted have been very impressive. There is a movement of producers in Portugal coming into the limelight, some new and some not, that have been ramping up the region's quality and image. This movement is also showing that Portugal is not just a one-stop destination for Port but also a location for fine dry red and white wines. Quinta das Bágeiras has been producing wines for three generations from their family vineyards located in Bairrada. The theme of the winery is a minimalist approach highlighting some of the best terroirs in Bairrada, all hand-harvested, natural yeast, and with minimal intervention to produce expressive wines. The Garrafeira Tinto comes from some very old vine Baga, well over 100 years old by now. Fermentation is completely whole cluster, which gives the wine a bit more depth and edge. The wine has power and intensity, drinking similarly to a dry Port, with almost the same level of age-ability. There is fantastic complexity and incredible structure here, and it is only going to get better. If you choose to drink it now, throw it in the decanter for a few hours otherwise stow it away for a great surprise down the line. Quinta das Bágeiras Garrafeira Tinto is hands down one of the most impressive and age-worthy wines at this price point, hands down.
Wine Advocate (Mark Squires) 95 points! "The 2011 Quinta das Bágeiras Garrafeira is a Baga aged in used French oak for 20 months. It comes in at 14% alcohol. Sourced from 90+-year-old vines, this was pretty brilliant when last seen. This quality for $40 makes it a pretty nice deal. It is why smart consumers always look at regions that are not quite as famous. This shows fine concentration, controlled tannins and some licorice on the finish, probably an oak artifact. There are hints of mint and spice. This has changed a lot in flavor profile since I last saw it. What has not changed, though, is the power and the concentration. It has entered another phase of life. At this point, tossing it back into the cellar for another couple of years would make it even better, or give it a couple of hours of air. It should pull in the wood even better. There is no rush, because great Baga is hard to kill. This will not only hold, but it will continue to evolve and improve for many years. It has a long life ahead."