The Wine: Vinho Tinto 2012
This powerful and yet refreshing red wine from Bairrada, northwestern Portugal, is a blend of Baga (50%), Castelao (25%), Touriga Nacional (15%), Alfrocheiro (10%). The vineyards are located on the hillsides and benefit from the cool Ocean breeze.
This Vinho Tinto, red wine in Portuguese, is fleshy and supple, with a nice touch of minerality and balanced acidity. Ripe red fruit on the nose and long finish, for an age-worthy medium-bodied red wine.
The Producer: Quinta da Serradinha
António Marques-da-Cruz runs Quinta da Serradinha, a winery located in Leira north of Lisboa, the capital of Portugal, in the Bairrada wine region. The estate can count on some of the oldest vineyards in the area, planted in the early 50s by António’s grandfather.
The main grape varietals grown at Quinta da Serradinha are Alfrocheiro, Castelão, Tinta Miúda, Touriga Nacional, and local hero Baga, which António farms organically as well as following some principles of biodynamic. António’s approach in the cellar is hands-off, and his wines clearly reflect this characteristic.
The Region: Bairrada
Bairrada is a region located in northwest Portugal within the wider region called Beira Litoral, between the Atlantic Ocean (west) and the mountains of Dão region (east), stretching from the coast to the border with Spain.
The most widely planted grape varietal in this region is Baga (75% of all vineyards), traditionally vinified into dark red powerful wines with firm tannins. Other red varietals grown in Bairrada are Portugal native like Castelão, Rufete, Touriga Nacional but also international, such as Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Among the several white grape varietals grown in the region, we have Arinto, Bical, Cercial, Sercialinho, Fernão Pires, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Terroir of Bairrada
Bairrada’s terroir and its wines are deeply influenced by two elements: the Atlantic Ocean, and the clay soils rich in limestone. The Ocean mitigates the climate, which could be defined as maritime with substantial rainfall. The further we move from the coast towards the Dão region, the higher the quality of the grapes.