2015 Manuel dos Santos Campolargo, Vinha do Putto, Bairrada DOC, Portugal.
I was very impressed by the Manuel dos Santos Campolargo, Vinha do Putto, Bairrada DOC red blend, which is a unique mix of mainly Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Merlot, though there is maybe a tiny bit of Syrah as well, it’s a richly flavored and delicious wine that performs way beyond its price and is fabulous either on its own and or with simple cuisine, perfect for BBQs and or pizza nights. Coming from Bairrada’s classic clay and limestone soils the Vinha do Putto feels nicely textural and medium bodied, being deep with a dark garnet/ruby color, matured tannins and evolved fruit, it shows layers of black raspberry, currant, plum and cherry, along with a light cedar, anise, dried flowers, mineral, a touch of baked earth and spice accents. I absolutely enjoyed this bottle and look forward to exploring upcoming releases of these Manuel dos Santos Campolargo wines, which I’ll be keeping an eye out for, especially for personal use as well as reviews. The current generation of the Campolargo family, interestingly, say that their grandfather Martinho, a farmer from Mogofores, produced red wine as far back as the early 1920’s and that he was amongst a rare group of growers who would separate white from black grapes those days and produced a locally renowned and beautiful white wine.

Winemakers Raquel Carvalho, a trained enologist, and Carlos Campolargo, the fourth generation of the family, and the head of Manuel dos Santos Campolargo, do an interesting set of wines from the Bairrada DOC zone with a selection of white, rosé, red and a single varietal Baga, of which are high quality offerings, distinctive and tasty stuff, as this red blend shows. The grapes here were all de-stemmed, and saw separate fermentation(s) by varietal in small vats with a cool maceration period, after which the must was pressed and rack to wood where the wine finished secondary or malolactic fermentation in used French barrels. This was followed, as the winery notes, by an elevage for close to 8 months before the wines are blended, settled and bottled. Even though the Campolargo family has been growers since the 1920s, their first Campolargo labeled wines came in 2000, and their modern cellar was built in 2004, so not that old by European standards. The Campolaros have, I understand, planted Baga, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Trincadeira da Bairrada (periquita), Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon red grapes along white Bical, Arinto, Cerceal and Verdelho grapes, seeking to promote terroir through a diversity of varietals. If you are looking for an aged old world, but fruit driven, wine, this one is an authentic and joyous bargain that I highly recommend if you can find it, which isn’t easy, but worth it.
($18 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

By admin