2016 Filipa Pato “Nossa Calcario” Bical, Bairrada, Portugal.
This gorgeous Portuguese white wine from Filipa Pato, known for her red Baga based wines is made from the Bairrada native varietal Bical grown on the this regions unique terroir, with it’s maritime cool climate and limestone/sand and clay soils. The region also has Portugal’s highest wine classification, Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and the local Bical grape, planted primarily here in the Bairrada region can produce high acid wines and it can often be found in sparkling wine production, but Pato’s is a stunning version of a still wine with a wonderful textural mouth feel and white Burgundy like complexity. I’ve bee a fan of Filipa’s wines for quite awhile, enjoying her Baga reds and her sparkling Baga/Bical, though I had never tasted this Nossa before and I must say I’m thrilled with this impressive white, it reveals a beautiful mix of citrus, stone fruits and delicate floral tones in a fleshy and pleasing wine. The palate is medium full with lovely expansion and layers white peach, pear, lemon, golden fig and faint tropical essences along with a delightful mineral charm, wet stones, musk melon and leesy notes. Pato, who uses biodynamic practices in her home area of Beiras, get these Bical grapes from a chalk clay slope from a site she considers a Grand Cru above the village of Oís do Bairro (Filipa’s hometown) and she ferments naturally and ages this wine in well used French oak barrels, which adds the perfect rich detail to this crisply fresh grape, it certainly gives you the impression that it is as serious as a Premier Cru Chablis, it’s steely, but generous, striking a near perfect balance. Portugal, known for reds, is home to some amazing whites, they are well worth discovering, besides this beauty from Filipa Pato, you should look for Pessoa’s Vinho Verde, Regueiro’s Trajadura and Alvarinho from the Minho region and Deu la Deu’s all Alvarinho from the Moncao e Melgaço zone, as well as any of the Niepoort range of whites, and besides Bical, Alvarinho and Trajadura look for Arinto and or Loureiro (grapes) based wines. This Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario 100% Bical should continue to develop and gain depth over the next 3 to 5 years in bottle, but waiting on it is not needed as it delivers a brilliant performance right now.
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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