Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 27, 2018

2017 Niepoort Lagar de Baixo, Baga, Bairrada DOC Portugal -photo grapelive

2017 Niepoort, Baga, Lagar de Baixo, Bairrada D.O.C., Portugal.
The exceptionally pure and almost Cru Beaujolais (think Fleurie) like Baga Lagar de Baixo by Dirk Nierpoort, best known for his Port wines, is a wonderfully fresh dry red wine of delicate detail and brisk intensity, from mostly old vines in the Bairrada region. This light ruby hued Lagar de Baixo is from estate vineyards with a vine age of almost 50 years, these head trained vines are grown on sandy soils over calcareous clay which allows good fruit density, but with really low natural alcohol, in this case well under 12% making it a lovely bright quaffer. Mostly carbonic maceration with stainless steel with cool and a quick fermentation with a longer elevage in tank and neutral large casks all to keep its vivid flavors and fresh crispness with tangy red fruits, light earthy notes, floral tones in a light to medium bodied wine that highlights the terroir and the character of this grape, which is gloriously intriguing. This 2017 is so bright and pure it pops in the glass, something like Gamay or a lighter Mencia in feel with red cherry, juicy plum and tart raspberry fruits along with zippy detail, delicate floral elements, mineral and spices all of which make you want to put a slight chill on this one and enjoy it outdoors, picnics and paellas sound just about right and or with lighter meals. Drink this delightful brisk ruby hued wine over the next 2 or 3 years, though I suggest sooner vs. later as I love the vivid freshness it has right now. Niepoort has a great lineup of still wines, some that rival Burgundy in complexity and class, they are not wines to overlook, and while this light red is not all that serious, it is utterly delicious.
($22 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive